The Championships have got underway in front of a full house of spectators and, as it is Wimbledon, with a couple of interruptions for rain but thanks to the roofs over the 100-year-old Centre Court and its younger sister, No.1 Court, play was not really disrupted on the two main show courts.
A lot of waiting around and it wasn't the prettiest performance, but I got it done in straight sets and I'll take that and move on Cameron Norrie
Play on the outer courts kicked off at 11.00 am and forty five minutes later, the covers came out to protect the grass from the first of the rain interruptions sending Britain’s No.1 Cameron Norrie and his Spanish opponent Pablo Andujar, scurrying for cover with the 36-year-old Valencia resident leading the Brit by a break in the second set, his first of the match having been whitewashed in the opener!
The pair resumed the match about two hours and 15-minutes later and no doubt after a good talking to by his coach and spurred on by his early break, Andujar looked a different player to make a match of it, but he lost the advantage and had to force a tie-break where again Norrie dominated.
Throughout the match Norrie, the ninth seed, never looked under undue pressure as he went on to claim his second-round place with a confident 6-0 7-6(3) 6-3 victory, but not before Andujar had saved three match points when serving at 3-5 and rain brought it to halt with the score poised on Deuce!
An hour later Norrie moped it all up on Court No.2 with a forehand winner.
“That was not easy. I saw the dark clouds coming and someone shouted ‘get it done before the rain’ – I was like ‘come on, I’m trying to get it done,’” Norrie said later with a wry laugh.
“A lot of waiting around and it wasn’t the prettiest performance, but I got it done in straight sets and I’ll take that and move on.”
The 26-year-old Brit next faces another Spaniard, Jaume Munar who also came through in straight ssets against Brazilian Thiago Monteiro 6-2 6-4 7-5.
Meanwhile on Centre Court, Novak Djokovic, as defending champion, officially opened play at The Championships at 1.00pm and was given a bit of a fright by Kwon Soon-woo from South Korea.
But the Serbian former world No1, overcame the problem to notch up his 80th win at Wimbledon as he got his campaign for a seventh title with a 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory.
But he was made to work hard by his opponent ranked 81 who surprised everyone by taking a set off the Serbian playing what could be only his second major event of the season following his decision not be vaccinated which got him deported from Australia and currently, is preventing him crossing into the US for the final major in New York.
However, at present he is into the second round where he will face either Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis or Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak.
“I didn’t play any lead-up tournaments before Wimbledon so you always feel less comfortable,” Djokovic explained away the loss of a set. “Kwon stays close to the lines, hits clean forehands and backhands so I had to find a way to go through him.
“That meant figuring out tactically how to get control of the points.”
Other matches which have been completed early in the day include Frances Tiafoe’s win over Italy’s Andrea Vavassori 6-4 6-4 6-4 and his American compatriot, Tommy Paul easing past the Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco 6-1 6-2 7-6(4).
Also through to round two is Quentin Halys who beat his French countryman Benoit Paire 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-4.