WATCH: Novak Djokovic Struggles on Wimbledon Grass, Slips Multiple Times on Break Points

Published 06/28/2021, 9:47 AM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 28, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts after falling during his first round match against Britain’s Jack Draper REUTERS/Paul Childs


Serbian World No.1 Novak Djokovic begins his Wimbledon Championships 2021 campaign against British wildcard entrant Jack Draper. Surprisingly, the revered grass-court showed some early signs of unfavorable conditions. Notably, the defending champion slipped twice, and as a result, could not achieve a breakpoint.

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It was a dream start for the 19-year-old British player as he got the early break against Djokovic. With the home crowd behind, Draper went on to take the first set against the defending champion.

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Novak Djokovic slips and tumbles during Wimbledon Championships 2021 opener

Without a doubt, the lawns at All England Club hold the reputation of the highest quality. However, the players found it difficult to move freely on the grass at Wimbledon 2021‘s first gentlemen’s singles match.

More importantly, the slips cost Djokovic a crucial break-back opportunity trailing at 3-4. But, more credits to Draper who held his guns and stayed ahead of the Serbian with his explosive first serve.

It was the first time the 34-year-old Serbian lost the first set in his opening round at Wimbledon since 2021. Many of his fans would argue that the slippery nature of the court had its role to play.

Additionally, Djokovic lost seven of his breakpoints chances in the opening set. Thus, more than the tumble, the lost opportunity cost him direly.

Furthermore, it is the dream Wimbledon debut for the local Draper, taking the opening set of World No.1. Yet the ultimate challenge would be to go on and enact the biggest Wimbledon upset on the first day of the Championships.

Naturally, Djokovic stole Draper’s thunder as the second set began. The Serbian got the early break this time, and he went on to find a 3-0 lead in the second set of this match.

Seemingly, the slipping suddenly ceased after the end of the first set. Nevertheless, it remained the highlight of the Wimbledon 2021 opening set. Here are the highlights for you.

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What is at stake for Djokovic in Wimbledon?

Novak Djokovic is aiming to equal Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s career haul of 20 Grand Slams. Moreover, he also has eyes for a Golden Slam as he already conquered the Australian Open and the French Open in 2021.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 28, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his first round match against Britain’s Jack Draper REUTERS/Paul Childs

Much like his last few matches at Grand Slam tournaments, Djokovic yet again has to revive after a lost set. The question is can the young Draper sway with the home crowd to grab the biggest win of his young career.

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Conversely, the Serbian ace settled his feet on the beautifully mowed lawn at the Centre Court. And instead of taking it out on the court, Djokovic steered his energy in closing the second set as quickly as possible.

Unsurprisingly, Djokovic had no problem in the second set as he recovered the lost set. Currently, the two players stand at 4-6, 6-1 in an exciting battle for the second round.

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Purav Joshi

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Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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