Novak Djokovic, the six-time champion, took little less than two and half hours to beat 81st-ranked Kwon Soon-woo in the gentlemen's singles first round of Wimbledon 2022 at All Englan Club on Monday. (More Tennis News)
Djokovic, 35, raced to a 6-3 win in the first set, but lost the second set to the Korean 3-6. The top-seed Serbian then won the next two games 6-3, 6-4 to become the first player, man or woman, to win 80 matches at each of the four Grand Slam tournaments.
The defending champion, playing in the traditional first match at Centre Court on the opening day of Wimbledon, didn't play his best tennis, committing as many as 29 unforced errors, three more than his rival. The South Korean also had more winners, 31-30.
This was their second meeting. Djokovic beat Soon-woo 6-1, 6-3 in Belgrade clay court last year.
Wimbledon could be Novak Djokovic's last Grand Slam tournament in 2022 as the US Open. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has admitted that he is in the dark as to whether he will be able to play at the Flushing Meadows.
Maintaining his hardline refusal to get COVID-19 vaccine, the Serbian said on Saturday: "As of today, I'm not allowed to enter the States under these circumstances.
As things stand, there is no sign of the US authorities relaxing their rule requiring all visitors to be vaccinated.
It's worth noting that Novak Djokovic started the 2022 season tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at 20 Grand Slam titles.
But unvaccinated Djokovic was deported from Australia before the Australian Open in January, and Nadal ended up winning that tournament to become the first male player to win 21 Major titles.
Before the Wimbledon, Djokovic was able to compete in the French Open, losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.
Spaniard Nadal starts his Wimbledon 2022 campaign on Tuesday with a first-round meeting with Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina.