Top-seeded Novak Djokovic overcame an all-dogs-challenge from Koreas Kwon Soon-woo, the number-81 seed, and his grasscourt rustiness to advance to the second round at Wimbledon on Monday, winning 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-4. Wimbledon top seed Novak Djokovic secured the win with an ace on the opening point of the play, and he will face either Thanasi Kokkinakis or Kamil Majchrzak next. Novak Djokovic opened proceedings with a four-set win over South Korean Soon-woo Kwon, with the top seed beginning his quest for a fourth straight grasscourt major title. Seeded first at Wimbledon because of the Russian player’s ban, which prevented Daniil Medvedev from competing, Djokovic opened his title defence with a four-set victory over Soon-woo Kwon.

Top-seeded Novak Djokovic had not played any grasscourt warm-up events and admitted it did not help his performance against Korean Kwon Soon woo, ranked 81st. Up 5-2 in the second, world number 81 Soonwoo Kwon somehow recovered in time from Novak Djokovic’s backhand to escape being 0-for-40, then produced a winner from the forehand at the end of a massive rally and a sublime drop shot to tee up the match-tying point, which he gobbled up to tie the game. South Koreas Kwon Soon-woo lost to Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in Monday’s opening round at Wimbledon in London, fighting with the 20-time grand-slam champion for almost two-and-a-half hours before running out of gas.

Djokovic took his entire career wins there to 80, making him the first man in tennis history with at least that number in every Grand Slam, beating Koreas Soonwoo 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on centre court beneath a retractable roof. This, though, is the top-seeded Djokovic; there is a reason he extended his winning streak at the All England Club to 22. Djokovic is given a traditionally protected defender men’s title to open the tournament at Centre Court in what is billed as a gentle warm-up before the inevitable high drama that will come in a home doubleheader between Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu at home.

The 20-time major winner was unable to compete in the Australian Open due to a dispute about his vaccination status, and evidence of vaccination is presently required for admittance into the United States. Following his expulsion in January, Djokovic was barred from returning to Australia for three years; however, former Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he may be allowed to come back sooner under the “appropriate conditions.” If nothing changes, Djokovic will be unable to compete in a Grand Slam until next year’s French Open. “I believe it inspires me even more, to try to make the most of this event,” said the six-time Wimbledon winner.