London, Jun 27 (EFE).- World number one Novak Djokovic survived a second set scare to eventually exert his authority over South Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo to win 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on the opening day of Wimbledon on Monday.
In the absence of world number one Daniil Medvedev – who was banned after the All England Club’s ruling not to allow Russian or Belarussian players to take part in response to the war in Ukraine – the defending champion is the heavy favorite to go all the way and claim his fourth successive Wimbledon championship title.
Djokovic got off to a slow start, but eventually settled into the match to take the first set after a 5-game winning streak.
Kwon, world number 81, was unfazed, however, and hit back to win the second frame 6-3.
The Serb crucially survived a breakpoint in the third set before retaking the lead, and only needed one break of serve in the fourth frame to confirm the victory.
Elsewhere in the men’s draw, Norway’s Casper Ruud survived two tie breaks to defeat Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas in straight sets.
The third seed and world number six beat the Spaniard 7-6 (1), 7-6 (9), 6-2 to qualify for the second round, where he will meet either Argentina’s Tomas Martin Etcheverry or Frenchman Ugo Humbert.
Carlos Alcaraz, the fifth-seeded Spanish teenager, survived a scare against Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff to win in five sets.
In a topsy-turvy affair, Alcaraz, widely tipped to become the next so-called King of Clay after his compatriot Rafael Nadal, struggled to assert himself on the grass at the All England Club against the unseeded German.
The teenager eventually overcame Struff with a crucial break with the deciding set delicately poised at 4-4 to win out the contest 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 and move on to the second round. EFE