Djokovic wins 80th victory, and Radukanu delighted Wimbledon fans

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

Six-time champion and top seed Djokovic beat South Korean Kwon Soo-woo 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

But 20-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic was forced to work after losing the first two sets to his 81st-placed opponent and losing the second of those.

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

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Djokovic, 35, is looking to win a fourth consecutive Wimbledon title and join a select group.

In the Open Era, only Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer managed such a streak in tournaments. All England Club.

Meanwhile, teenage star Carlos Alcaraz, Djokovic’s potential opponent in the quarter-finals, came back from two sets to one to defeat Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

The 19-year-old threw 30 aces and 73 game-winning shots, displaying dazzling shooting prowess to win 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.

“Last year I also played five sets in the first round here, so that shows how much I love grass,” joked Alcaraz.

Home crowd favorite

In the women’s tournament, US Open champion Raducanou beat Alison van Uytwank 6-4, 6-4 on Monday, to the delight of the fanatical Wimbledon Center Court crowd.

The 19-year-old British player, who had doubts about an injury at the Grand Slam tournament, struggled to prove himself early in the first round but broke his serve in the seventh game.

Van Uytwank bounced back, but Radukanu again took the lead with another break and endured the ordeal on her serve to win the first set 6-4.

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

Emma Radukanu
Emma Radukanu returns the ball during the Wimbledon first round match. Photo: Getty Images

“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 supported the minute I went out and walked around the grounds. I want to say thank you to everyone who supported me during difficult times. It’s all worth it to play Center Court and win.”

Since her sensational win at Flushing Meadows last year, Radukanou has struggled with a string of minor injuries, including a lateral sprain earlier this month.

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

But since then, she has not won more than two matches in the tournament.

She will take on France’s Carolina Garcia for a place in the top 32.