Djokovic, Swiatek cruise into Wimbledon 2nd round; Gauff upset

London, Jul 3 (EFE).- Novak Djokovic began his quest for a record-tying eighth Wimbledon title with a rain-interrupted 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) victory Monday over Argentina’s Pedro Cachin.

The 36-year-old Serbian great, who is looking to equal Swiss great Roger Federer’s mark, seeking his fifth-straight title at the All England Club and trying to keep alive his hopes for an extremely rare calendar-year Grand Slam, was efficient if not flawless in the opening match on Centre Court.

Although he fell behind 2-1 after an early service break, Djokovic was then able to secure two service breaks of his own and wrap up the first set comfortably thanks to winning nine of 12 points against Cachin’s second serve.

The players then had to deal with a long rain delay, with the court staying wet even after the roof was closed. Djokovic even grabbed a towel at one point and tried to help dry the grass before play finally resumed after about an hour and a half when the roof was opened.

When it did, Djokovic was in much sharper form.

He won all but two of his service points in the second set while continuing to impose his return game to the tune of two more service breaks, the last of which gave him a two-set-to-love lead.

Cachin fared better on serve in the third set, striking six aces and staving off two break points, but he also failed to convert two break points of his own.

In the tiebreaker, Djokovic jumped out to a big lead and wrapped up the victory in two hours and 12 minutes when the Argentine netted a backhand.

“I normally come out with rackets, not with towels, but it was fun to do something different,” the world No. 2 joked in a post-match interview about his court-drying efforts.

The top women’s player on court on Monday, Polish world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, also moved through to the second round with a confident performance.

The reigning US Open and French Open champion has never advanced beyond the fourth round at tennis’ premier grass-court event, but she dominated the baseline in a 6-1, 6-3 victory over China’s Lin Zhu.

In the first set, Lin was overwhelmed by Swiatek’s return of serve and powerful forehand and backhand and only managed to win 31 percent of her first-serve points.

The story was a similar one in the second set as the Chinese player lost her serve three more times, although she made the score more respectable by earning one service break of her own.

In other action Monday, an American five-time champion and a teenager who idolized her as a young girl were both bounced out of the Wimbledon singles in first-round action on Monday.

Venus Williams, who continues to compete on the WTA Tour at age 43 even after the retirement of her younger sister, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, fell to Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-3.

Then, in one of the final matches of the day, 19-year-old No. 7 seed Coco Gauff was upset by countrywoman Sofia Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

Gauff, who burst on the scene in 2019 by reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon at age 15 and defeating Venus Williams along the way, had the big edge on serve on Monday.

But despite firing 12 aces to Kenin’s one, the latter’s superiority from the baseline proved to be the difference and was reflected in her much higher winning percentage on second-serve points (76 percent to 39 percent). EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button