On the first day of play at Wimbledon, Djokovic opened play under Center Court to win his fourth straight SW19 title and first Grand Slam of the year.
The first seed win over Kwon may not have been as routine as some expected. He first came out of a break in the opening set, then Kwon equalized by taking second.
Djokovic began to find his rhythm towards the end of the third set and ended the victory with a break halfway through the fourth – shortly after saving three break points on his own serve.
The win gave Djokovic 22 consecutive Wimbledon wins – a streak dating back to the 2017 quarter-finals – as well as his 80th win at the tournament.
“Thanks to Kwon for really quality tennis, he deserves a round of applause,” said Djokovic. “If he had broken me in the third set, this match could have gone differently.”
Kwon opened fire in Monday’s first round match and hit with a strong inside out right hand to advance early in the first set.
The thin lead was short-lived as Djokovic hit back with a double break of his own to complete the set, but his Korean opponent kept up the pressure in the second match, combining powerful baseline shots and delicate shots.
Kwon took a 3-1 lead in the second set and then saved three break points in the next game to deny Djokovic a break of his own, an advantage that allowed him to take the set and tie the game.
The sound of rain lashing the roof and the occasional rumble of thunder could be heard from Center Court early in the third set, drowning out the cheering of the crowd and the noise of the racket on the ball.
The pair exchanged submissions before Djokovic showed his experience and won the match. The Serb’s first serve became more consistent and his ground shots more accurate as he took a 5-3 lead. A series of big serves, including two aces, helped him win the next game and the third set.
In the fourth, Djokovic saved three break points at 2-2 before making his own break at 3-2. From here, Kwon could not find his way back and Djokovic began the chase for a 21st Grand Slam title, with Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis waiting in the second round.
With his win, he also made tennis history as the first player to win at least 80 matches at each of the four Grand Slam tournaments.
Radukan happy to stay one more day
The skies cleared and the roof was open for the second match of the day on Center Court – the first appearance on Wimbledon’s main exhibition court of US Open champion and house favorite Emma Raducanou.
Encouraged by the cheers and cheers from the crowded Center Court, Raducanu smashed Van Uytwank at 5-4 and went on to win the first set, only to lose early in the second herself.
Unflinching, the 10th seed responded with a break of her own before taking another 4-4. In the next game, an open court backhand as Van Uytwank was clambering up sealed the win.
“To come and play here is something special,” said Radukan, who will face Caroline Garcia. “In this club, it’s just amazing to walk around these grounds and these courts. I’m so happy to stay one more day.”
Radukanou made her debut at Wimbledon last year, finishing in second place. 338 in the world. She reached the fourth round weeks before making history as the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title at the US Open.