Novak Djokovic entered the 2022 Wimbledon tournament as an overwhelming favorite to win his 21st Grand Slam title and his seventh in the grass-court event, so it wasn’t news that he won his first-round match. The fact that he faced some real resistance, however, came as a surprise.
Djokovic dropped the second set, but recovered to beat South Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Centre Court on Monday.
Kwon gives Djokovic trouble early
While Djokovic got the win, it was far from a vintage performance. Kwon broke early and took a 3-1 lead before Djokovic turned things around to take the first set. Kwon then won the second rather comfortably before Djokovic took control of the match.
“I did not start, or did not play, at my best,” Djokovic said after the match. “But I think when I needed to find the right shots, I did. I think [my] serve got me out of trouble in some decisive moments. I know I can do better.”
No. 5 seed Carlos Alcaraz survived an even bigger stare. The young Spanish star twice trailed by a set before coming back to win 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 over Jan-Lennard Struff.
|Wimbledon Odds – Men’s Winner (via DraftKings Sportsbook)|
|Novak Djokovic: -140||Matteo Berrettini: +550|
|Rafael Nadal: +750||Carlos Alcaraz: +1200|
|Felix Auger-Aliassime: +1700||Stefanos Tsitsipas: +2000|
|Nick Kyrgios: +2000||Andy Murray: +3500|
In retrospect, perhaps Alcaraz expected a tough match. Struff won their only previous meeting at the 2021 French Open, and Struff previously ranked inside the top 30 before a foot injury kept him out of action for two months.
The top women who were in action at Wimbledon on Monday had an easier time of things. No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit beat Bernarda Pera 7-5, 6-1, while No. 3 Ons Jabeur finished qualifier Mirjam Bjorklund 6-1, 6-3.
UK stars win openers at Wimbledon
British fans had the pleasure of watching two of the biggest stars in the UK win on Centre Court as well. No. 10 seed Emma Raducanu beat Alison Van Uytvanck 6-4, 6-4, after which, Andy Murray won his first-round match over James Duckworth 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
“I did well to get through,” Murray said of his performance. “There is always nerves and pressure and butterflies and stress before the first round. It was great to get a win under my belt.”
There were upsets at Wimbledon on Monday, as both No. 7 seeds suffered defeats. 2019 Wimbledon quarterfinalist Danielle Collins lost in three sets to Maria Bouzkova, while Alejandro Davidovich Fokina dropped men’s No. 7 seed Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (10-8).
|Wimbledon Odds – Women’s Winner|
|Iga Swiatek: +150||Ons Jabeur: +600|
|Petra Kvitova: +1100||Cori Gauff: +1300|
|Simona Halep: +1500||Jelena Ostapenko: +1700|
|Serena Williams: +1800||Emma Raducanu: +1800|
|Bianca Andreescu: +2200||Belinda Bencic: +2200|
Three of the biggest names in tennis will take Centre Court on Tuesday at Wimbledon. Women’s No. 1 seed Iga Swiatek will face off against Jana Fett (+1600), with Swiatek coming in as a -8000 favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. Men’s No. 2 Rafael Nadal (-5000) will follow against Francisco Cerundolo (+1400), while Serena Williams (-320) will start her tournament against Harmony Tan (+250).