Monday, November 29, 2021

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Wimbledon: Djokovic tames British wildcard Draper, Tsitsipas stunned

World number one Novak Djokovic regained his composure to down British teenager Jack Draper on the opening day of Wimbledon.

Draper was given a wildcard for his senior SW19 debut and stunned the Serb top seed with a confident start to take the opening set.

But the five-time champion, 34, stepped through the gears to advance 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2 on Centre Court.

Djokovic will play South Africa’s Kevin Anderson – who he beat in the 2018 final – in the second round.

“It feels great seeing everyone and being back on the most special, or sacred, tennis court in the world,” said Djokovic, who is aiming to equal Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer’s all-time men’s record of 20 major titles.

“It has been very difficult times for everyone but I’m very glad the sport is back, hopefully you guys enjoyed it and will enjoy the next couple of weeks.”

World number four Stefanos Tsitsipas suffered a shock straight-set defeat by American Frances Tiafoe on day one.

Third seed Tsitsipas, who reached the French Open final earlier in June, was beaten 6-4 6-4 6-3 by the impressive world number 57 Tiafoe on Court One.

It is the third time in four attempts the 22-year-old Greek has exited Wimbledon in round one.

Tiafoe will play Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the second round.

Also, former world no 1 Andy Murray made his Wimbledon singles return with a dramatic 6-4 6-3 5-7 6-3 victory against 24th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili.

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