Wimbledon 2021: Novak Djokovic overcomes after losing first set, excited fans return to the stadium

Novak Djokovic overcame a wobbly start to win his opening match at Wimbledon.

The two-time defending champion lost the first set to 19-year-old British wild card Jack Draper. Then, Djokovic hit 25 aces and rallied to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 despite slipping on the grass several times.

After a gap of one year, Wimbledon is back with fans limited to 50% capacity because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The overcast weather felt right at home at an event notorious for its rain delays.

“Perfect spectator weather,” said Hannah Scott, who was among the first fans to arrive on the grounds on Monday. “You’re not going to burn in the sun.”

Last year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, Wimbledon was canceled for the first time since World War II. This year, the tournament is taking place but with a reduced seating capacity at the start. Organizers, however, are planning to have a full crowd of 15,000 at Centre Court for the men’s and women’s finals in two weeks.

The usual flower-filled grounds greeted the many fans that poured through gates early Monday. Stands selling food, drinks and souvenirs were staffed and doing business right from the start, while stewards were helping spectators find their way around.

“One of the things that we thought long and hard about, worked hard to deliver, is a familiar feel about The Championships,” All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said. “So when people arrive at the gates this morning, as they are doing now, what they will see and feel is something very familiar – a Championships that we’ve all missed for two years.”

In another match between France’s Fiona Ferro and Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza, the latter clinched a trouble-free victory in just 49 minutes by defeating the French tennis player 0-6, 1-6.

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