Novak Djokovic said his performance went from “flawless” to “solid” after opening the defence of his Wimbledon crown with a straight-sets win over James Ward on Monday.
The world number one had to focus in the second set as Ward rallied, but comfortably wrapped up a 6-0 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 win in just over two hours.
Looking for his third title in a row at the All-England Club – and fourth overall – the top seed was serene in the opening set – though he put an opening bagel down to Ward’s hesitance.
While he needed a tie-break in the second, Djokovic was a happy man having negotiated a potential banana skin against the Briton.
“This is probably the most unique experience in tennis, playing as the defending champion, on untouched grass,” he said. “It is really special to feel this tradition
“There is not really much to say about the first nine games, it was flawless, I felt great and nerves kicked in for James.
“He started playing better in the second set and it got close. It was solid performance from me though. James was serving with a lot of precision and it was not easy to break his serve.”
Djokovic will now face Antonio Mannarino in round two after the Frenchman beat Kyle Edmund 6-2 7-5 6-4.