Friday , October 22 2021

No.2 seed sweeps rival in clinical display at Wimbledon

No. 2-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus is this year’s first winner at Wimbledon. She swept her opening match against qualifier Monica Niculescu, 6-1, 6-4.

They played under the retractable roof on Court 1 while the start of matches on outside courts was delayed by rain.

Sabalenka has won a tour-leading 30 matches this year and her seeding is her highest at a major tournament. She dominated from the start against Niculescu, who had so much trouble holding she even tried an underhand serve.

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Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic was greeted on his return to Wimbledon by a standing ovation with the Centre Court crowd limited to 50% capacity because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Djokovic won the tournament the last time it was held, in 2019, beating Roger Federer in an epic final. He is halfway to a Grand Slam in 2021, having won the Australian Open and the French Open.

The No. 1-ranked Djokovic smiled as he entered the stadium. The retractable roof was closed because of rain that delayed the start of play on outer courts. Djokovic’s opponent is British wild card Jack Draper.

Djokovic has won seven of the past 12 major tournaments.

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