Defending champion Novak Djokovic said that the possibility of not being able to defend his title for another year motivated him to win Wimbledon. After defeating South Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo in four sets, the Serbian player talked about his motivation for the tournament.
The 35-year-old athlete said he doesn’t want to get a Covid vaccine because it would prevent him from participating in tournaments. Djokovic was unavailable for the Australian Open earlier this year due to an issue regarding his vaccination status.
Australian Open experience fuels Djokovic
In January this year, Djokovic was sent back to Serbia after being denied entry to Australia. Scott Morrison, the former Prime Minister of Australia, allowed him to return home earlier due to the right circumstances.
If his condition doesn’t change, Djokovic might not be able to participate in the French Open next year.
Djokovic added that he’s motivated by the possibility of being unable to defend his title. He also said that he hopes something will change soon so he can compete at the US Open.
“I guess that motivates me more to try to make the most out of this tournament,” Djokovic said. “There’s not much time after Wimbledon before the US Open. I’m hoping some things can change and that I’ll be able to go and compete. I would want to. But it is what it is at the moment. My thoughts and attention is here.”
The six-time Wimbledon champion admitted that playing in the Australian Open was an emotionally challenging experience. However, he was surprised by the positive response from the spectators at Wimbledon.
Defeating Korean world number 81
The Championships returned to full capacity on Monday after a few days. As usual, the men’s singles event proceedings started at Centre Court.
The top seed was able to secure a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over the South Korean player in the tournament’s opening round held on grass courts. He would surpass Roger Federer’s titles record with a win in Wimbledon.
The Serbian player is considered the favourite to win the tournament once again due to the absence of the top-ranked player in the world, Daniil Medvedev. Also, Alexander Zverev, who was supposed to be one of the event participants, was forced to withdraw due to an injury.
Despite facing a difficult opponent, Djokovic secured the victory and advanced to the second round. He will face Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia.
After falling behind early in the first set, the 24-year-old South Korean player was able to break back and take the lead. However, he could not sustain his lead and allow the Serbian player to take the first set. In the second set, the former world number one established a five-game winning streak.
Despite being down a break in the third set, the crowd cheered for Kwon as he continued to fight back. However, the ATP title holder could not capitalize on his opportunities to take the crucial lead.
The crucial moments of the match were provided by Djokovic, who was able to take the fourth set. He saved a break point in the very first game of the set.
With a victory over Kwon, Djokovic has reached the 80-win mark in his career in Grand Slam events. By doing so, he became the first player to achieve this feat in four different tournaments.