World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who is eyeing a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title, started his Wimbledon 2021 campaign on a winning note getting past British wild card Jack Draper 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 to enter the second round on Monday. Djokovic lost the first set to the 19-year-old but showcased his class and form to win the remaining three sets in a convincing manner. The Serbian champ is halfway to becoming just the third man in history to complete a calendar Grand Slam. Rod Laver was the last man to achieve the sweep back in 1969.Also Read - Novak Djokovic: Not Having A Run On Grass Will Not Affect My Chances At Wimbledon

The 34-year-old Djokovic struggled early-on on the slippery Centre Court surface with the roof closed above it due to rain. Playing just his fifth match on the main tour, the left-handed Draper saved seven of seven break points in the opener as he stunned the top seed. Also Read - Ukrainian Refugees to Get Free Tickets From Wimbledon

However, Djokovic soon found his rhythm going and avoided becoming only the third defending champion to lose in the first round, by sweeping through the remainder of the contest in 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. Also Read - American Tennis Player Sebastian Korda Pulls Out Of Wimbledon

Djokovic will face either former runner-up Kevin Anderson or Chilean qualifier Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera for a place in the last 32.

In the other men’s singles tie, third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas became the first big name to exit Wimbledon on the first day of play, losing 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to Frances Tiafoe of the United States. Tsitsipas has now lost in the first round at Wimbledon on three occasions.

The world number 57 – Tiafoe will either face Canada’s Vasek Pospisil or Roberto Carballes Baena for a place in the last 32.

In the women’s singles, second seed Aryna Sabalenka played struck a barrage of winners to blitz past Romanian qualifier Monica Niculescu 6-1 6-4 on Monday and reach the second round at the All England.

Playing under the roof of Court One, Sabalenka will face either Danielle Lao of the United States or Britain’s Katie Boulter for a place in the last 32.

The withdrawal of Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep from the grasscourt Grand Slam, which was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meant world number four Sabalenka is at her highest seeding at a major.

In another women’s singles match – America’s Sloane Stephens won the battle of Grand Slam winners against two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. Stephens ousted the Czech 10th seed from the All England Club with a 6-3, 6-4 victory.