Defending champion Novak Djokovic began his campaign for an eighth Wimbledon title with a win against Argentina's Pedro Cachin. While stars Coco Gauff and Venus Williams were knocked out, Iga Swiatek and Jannik Sinner advanced to the second round.
Despite a downpour holding up play, Djokovic won 6-3 6-3 7-6(4) on a wet Centre Court, the start of his quest for a record 24th men's Grand Slam. This was his 40th successive win on Centre Court. Djokovic, whose sense of humour is always on show, used a towel to try and help ground staff dry out the grass after the surface became too slippery. "When I come out, I usually come out with racquets, not towels," said Djokovic, who described the court as "the holy grail, the temple of tennis", reports AFP.
The roof was closed but play did not resume for about 90 minutes, much to the frustration of the fans, reports AFP. “The conditions were not great under the roof, it was still slippery. I think it was definitely frustrating for the crowd waiting for us,” Djokovic added. Djokovic, bidding to match Roger Federer's men's record of eight Wimbledon titles, will face Australia's Jordan Thompson for a place in the third round, adds AFP. He has already won the Australian Open and French Open this year.
In the day's biggest shock, seventh-ranked Gauff lost 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to fellow American Sofia Kenin. Kenin, ranked 128th in the world, was Australian Open champion and French Open runner-up in 2020 before injury led to a loss of form.
Kenin may have beaten Gauff but tipped her hat to all the women players from the US. "I feel like women's tennis, US women's tennis is unbelievable right now," Kenin said, reported Reuters. "Everyone is playing so well. Jessie (Pegula), Maddie (Madison Keys) , Coco of course, everyone else. That obviously tries to push me out there to be at the top." Kenin will face China's Wang Xinyu in the second round.
Gauff, meanwhile, has said she will have to contemplate her loss and "go back to the drawing board and see where I need to improve and how to do the right drills to do that."
US' Venus Williams, who has won the women's singles title five times and got a wildcard entry, lost to Ukraine's Elina Svitolina. Williams, 43, who entered to cheers from the crowd, was injured during the first set and struggled to play. World number one Iga Swiatek of Poland defeated China's Zhu Lin 6-1 6-3 in a match that was delayed briefly by rain.
Italy's Jannik Sinner beat Argentine Juan Manuel Cerundolo 6-2 6-2 6-2 in their first round match on Centre Court in a match that lasted just 90 minutes. Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka also advanced to the second round, after beating Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori 7-5 7-5 6-4 in the course of about two hours.
Two Britishers will face off on Centre Court today. Crowd favourite Andy Murry, who is looking to launch his comeback, will play British wild-card entry Ryan Peniston in the first round on Day 2.
Elena Rybakina, who won the Women's Wimbledon title last year, will face US' Shelby Rogers.
Meanwhile, everyone's favourite tennis star Roger Federer, who retired last season, will be at Centre Court on Tuesday, where there All England Club will be honouring him.
Spain's Carlos Alcaraz will play France's Jeremy Chardy, while 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem will face two-time major finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Overall, in the tournament that will end on 16 July, Djokovic is a favourite for the men's title, followed by Alcaraz. On the women's tour Iga Swiatek is the crowd favourite though she has never advanced past the fourth round at Wimbledon, followed by Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka.