(Wimbledon) World No. 1 Iga Swiatek and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic made it through the first round despite a rain delay on the first day of the Wimbledon Open tennis tournament, where some of the biggest names in tennis were expected this sport.
Djokovic, the world’s No. 2 player, started his tournament with a 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (4) three-set victory over Argentina’s Pedro Cachin.
Djokovic’s match, scheduled on Center Court at the All England Club — one of the complex’s two roofed stadiums — was interrupted for more than an hour due to rain. Groundskeepers used leaf blowers to dry out the lawn.
“There is no doubt that it was frustrating for all the spectators. We players wanted to play but the conditions were not so good. It was obvious it was still slippery,” Djokovic said of the delay.
At times, Djokovic used a towel to dry out some corners of the pitch.
“I usually show up with snowshoes, not towels,” he said.
This is the third leg of the Grand Slam of professional tennis, and in men’s singles Djokovic won the first two, first in Melbourne in January and then in Paris in June.
He is therefore halfway to the calendar Grand Slam, a feat that has not been achieved in men’s singles since 1969. Djokovic came close to achieving the feat in 2021 but he lost in the final at the International United States against Russian Daniil Medvedev.
Djokovic is also looking for a fifth successive All England Club title, and an eighth in a career, which would allow him to equal two men’s records.
Thanks to his triumph at the French Open, Djokovic totals 23 singles titles at Grand Slam tournaments, a men’s tennis record.
As for Swiatek, she began her quest for a fifth Grand Slam title on Monday with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over China’s Zhu Lin.
The Pole, who has never made it past the fourth round at Wimbledon, has won the last two games under the roof of court number one after a rain break.
The honor of the tournament’s first victory in 2023 went to 2019 semi-finalist Barbora Strycova, who defeated Maryna Zanevska 6-1, 7-5. On the men’s side, seventh-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev beat Max Purcell 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.