Djokovic survives first-round scare from Korean foe in Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic survived Kwon Soon-woo in the first round of the 2022 Wimbledon tournament (Getty Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Serbian tennis superstar Novak Djokovic is now back joining the Grand Slam tournaments this 2022 and overcame his grass-court rustiness against Korean Kwon Soon-woo- 6.4, 3.6, 6.3, 6.4- in the first round of the Wimbledon tournament.

It was a long lay-off for Djokovic playing on the grass-court surface and had to endure the energetic Korean who got the better of him in the second set.

“I didn’t have any lead-up or preparation tournaments prior to this so you’re always going to feel a bit less comfortable than you would like, particularly if you’re playing against someone as talented as Kwon who stays close to the line and hits really clean,” Djokovic said.

Early tensions rose at the Wimbledon Centre Court after Soon-woo finally broke Djokovic’s service possession during the fourth game of the second set that spearheaded a wild rally from the Korean.

After taking the 4-3 lead, Soon-woo immediately caught fire and grabbed the much-needed momentum against the world no. 1 male tennis player and went on to take the second set and equalized the match at 1-1.

The Korean heavy-hitter continued to perform well and displayed a great shot selection that forced Djokovic to move around the court but once the Serbian held his service and took a 5-3 lead, the complexion of the whole match changed in his favor.

Djokovic’s consistent baseline rallies clawed him back into the game that established his assault in picking up Soon-woo’s short balls in the net area which resulted in easy smashes for the Serbian.

After regaining his rhythm, Djokovic had an easy time breaking through the Korean’s offense and clinched the last two sets to advance to the second round.

“It wasn’t easy. I had to put some variety in the game. The serve helped but at this level one or two shots decide a winner,” Djokovic added.