A rain-hit opening day at Wimbledon saw many of the top half of the draw unable to complete their matches or for those already victorious, not know who would be up next. There is no such issue for Novak Djokovic, who looks to extend his Wimbledon winning streak to 16 matches. He plays Kevin Anderson in a rematch of the 2018 final, where he won 6-2 6-2 7-6 in routine fashion.
It wasn’t quite the demolition job expected by some but Djokovic can be very pleased with his win over Jack Draper, even if it took four sets. His serve was on point throughout, with a record 25 aces his in the 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2 victory. He was uncharacteristically wasteful in the first set, going 0/7 on break points but would turn that around from the second set onwards with six breaks overall. “I think I probably had one of the best serving performances that I can recall on any surface,” Djokovic said. “I could not be more pleased with the rhythm of my serve. On grass, the quickest surface in our sport, it helps a lot getting a lot of free points on that first serve.”
Now outside the top 100, Anderson does look to be winding down his career. Recent losses in Nottingham and Eastbourne qualifiers will have been disappointing for him but he will have pleased to get back to winning ways on Day 1, beating Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera in four sets. How he would have performed in a more favourable part of the draw would have been interesting, with the next set of top players far from trustworthy on grass.
After an early jolt in round one, Djokovic should be ready to deal with the threat of the big serving South African. It’s likely the most Anderson can hope for is winning a tiebreak set but when the most well rounded player in the event is also hitting service bombs, it is going to be very hard to compete.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets