Djokovic secures 80th win as Raducanu delights Wimbledon crowd

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Defending Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic became the first player to win 80 matches at all four Grand Slams on Monday, while British teenager Emma Raducanu progressed safely to the second round at the All England Club.

Six-time champion and top seed Djokovic saw off South Korea’s Kwon Soo-woo 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

But 20-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic was made to work after falling a break down in the opening two sets against his 81st-ranked opponent — losing the second of those.

“Now we have got to 80 wins, let’s get to 100,” Djokovic told AFP.

Djokovic, 35, is attempting to win a fourth successive Wimbledon title and join a select group.

In the Open era, only Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer have managed such a streak at the All England Club.

Meanwhile, teenage star Carlos Alcaraz, a potential quarter-final opponent for Djokovic, came back from two sets to one down to defeat Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

The 19-year-old fired 30 aces and 73 winners in a dazzling display of shot-making to win 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.

“Last year, I played five sets in the first round here as well so this shows how much I like grass,” joked Alcaraz.

Home crowd favourite

In the women’s tournament, US Open champion Raducanu beat Alison van Uytvanck 6-4, 6-4 on Monday to the delight of a partisan crowd on Wimbledon’s Centre Court.

The 19-year-old British player, who was an injury doubt for the Grand Slam, struggled to impose herself early in the first-round match but broke serve in the seventh game.

Van Uytvanck broke back but Raducanu again seized the initiative by breaking again and survived a tough test on her serve to take the first set 6-4.

The pair swapped breaks in the second set and Raducanu broke again in the ninth game, comfortably holding serve and sealing victory with a backhand volley to the delight of the crowd.

“It’s an incredibly special feeling to be back at Wimbledon,” said the British number one, who reached the fourth round last year.

“I felt the support the minute I walked out and walking around the grounds. I want to say thank you to everyone who has been here supporting, through the tough times as well. It’s all worth it to play on Centre Court and come through with a win.”

Raducanu has struggled with a string of minor injuries since her sensational win at Flushing Meadows last year, including a side strain earlier this month.

The teenager did not drop a set in New York, becoming the first British female player to win a Grand Slam singles crown since Virginia Wade at Wimbledon in 1977.

But she has not won more than two matches at a tournament since.

She will take on France’s Caroline Garcia for a place in the last 32.

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