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Djokovic racks up 80th Wimbledon win

The Philippine Star

LONDON – Novak Djokovic became the first player to win 80 matches at all four Grand Slams as he made a successful start to his Wimbledon title defense on Monday while teenage star Carlos Alcaraz battled over five sets to make the second round.

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.

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

Djokovic 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.

Next up for Djokovic is Thanasi Kokkanikis. “Novak is kind of a brick wall,” said the Australian.

Alcaraz, a potential quarterfinal opponent for Djokovic, came back from two sets to one down to defeat Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff, 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.

US Open champion Emma Raducanu beat Alison van Uytvanck 6-4, 6-4, much to the delight of a partisan home crowd.

Matteo Berrettini, last year’s runner-up at Wimbledon, dropped out hours before he was scheduled to play his first-round match, saying he tested positive for COVID-19.

The All England Club announced Berrettini’s withdrawal, and he posted about it on Instagram, saying that he was “heartbroken” and has been isolating “the last few days” after experiencing flu-like symptoms.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

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