Novak Djokovic brings curtain up on Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic Wimbledon

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic returns the ball throughout a coaching session throughout the 2022 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Membership in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 26, 2022. (Picture by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

Novak Djokovic begins his bid to match Pete Sampras as a seven-time Wimbledon champion on Monday with British Grand Slam title winners Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu additionally on the Centre Court docket agenda.

Within the absence of the banned Daniil Medvedev and injured Alexander Zverev, 20-time main winner Djokovic takes prime seeding.

The 35-year-old defending champion begins his title bid in opposition to South Korea’s Kwon Quickly-woo, the world quantity 75.

Djokovic has additional motivation this yr as Wimbledon will likely be his final Slam of 2022.

His continued refusal to get vaccinated means he’ll stay banned from getting into america for the US Open later this summer season.

Additionally including gasoline to the Djokovic fireplace is the possibility to win a fourth successive Wimbledon title and be part of a choose group.

Within the Open period, solely Bjorn Borg, Sampras and Roger Federer have managed to finish such a streak of dominance on the All England Membership.

“As a seven, eight-year-old boy I’ve dreamt of profitable Wimbledon and changing into primary,” stated Djokovic.

“Pete Sampras profitable his first Wimbledon was the primary tennis match I ever noticed on the TV.”

Murray, the Wimbledon champion in 2013 and 2016, is unseeded this yr however stays a harmful floater within the draw.

He made the Stuttgart grass-court ultimate earlier this month earlier than an stomach harm compelled him out of Queen’s.

“I feel he’s probably the most harmful gamers on grass nonetheless,” stated Australia’s Nick Kyrgios.

“I positively suppose the way in which he can deal with pace, return, compete, slice, volley, so long as his physique is feeling nicely, I don’t wish to see him on the grass in any respect.”

Murray takes on Australia’s 77th-ranked James Duckworth who has but to register a win on the principle tour in 2022.

Nonetheless, the 30-year-old did make the third spherical at Wimbledon in 2021.

Duckworth’s profession had been undermined by requiring 9 surgical procedures within the final decade.

Raducanu, the shock 2021 US Open champion, performs Wimbledon for the primary time as a Grand Slam winner.

She made the fourth spherical final yr however has been affected by inconsistent kind since her triumph in New York.

The 19-year-old has been battling a aspect pressure however insisted she is “able to go” on opening day in opposition to Forty sixth-ranked Alison van Uytvanck.

The Belgian participant made the final 16 4 years in the past.

Additionally in motion on the primary day of the 2022 event is French Open runner-up and third seed Casper Ruud.

The Norwegian begins in opposition to Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Ruud has misplaced within the first spherical on his two appearances on the event.

He was additionally defeated in his solely grass-court outing this summer season by world quantity 180 Ryan Peniston at Queen’s.

Spanish 19-year-old and fifth-seed Carlos Alcaraz faces Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

Ladies’s second seed Anett Kontaveit tackles Bernarda Pera of america because the Estonian appears to be like to succeed in the second week of Wimbledon for the primary time.

Regardless of her lofty rating of two on the earth, the 26-year-old Kontaveit has a mediocre file on the Slams making the quarter-finals simply as soon as in 28 appearances.


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