Day 1 at Wimbledon 2021 served up huge upsets as French Open finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas and two-time women’s champion Petra Kvitova fell on the first hurdle.
Frances Tiafoe took down third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to record his first win over a top-5 player in 12 attempts.
Meanwhile, Sloane Stephens defeated 10th seed Kvitova 6-3, 6-4 in the battle of Grand Slam champions.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 28, 2021
Tsitsipas, who fell to Novak Djokovic a fortnight ago after leading by two sets in the final at Roland Garros, was the highest seed drawn into the World No. 1’s half. He has never gone past the Round of 16 in his four trips to Wimbledon.
His exit opens up Djokovic’s path to finish the year at the top of the ATP Rankings for a record seventh time.
Tiafoe is one of the 34 American players (21 women, 13 men) competing in the Wimbledon singles main draw – the most since 35 did in 1998.
He awaits the winner of Vasek Pospisil and Roberto Carballes Baena as he seeks to reach the third round at the All England Club for the second time (also 2018), equalling his best Wimbledon result.
Djokovic overcame a strong start by British wild card Jack Draper on Monday at the start of the Serbian’s historic title defence at The Championships, Wimbledon.
Five-time titlist Djokovic, who is bidding to tie Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles over the next fortnight, knocked out 19-year-old Draper 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in front of 7,000 spectators on Centre Court.
“It feels great seeing everyone and being back on probably the most special, the most sacred tennis court in the world,” said Djokovic, in an on-court interview.
“Obviously, alongside many other players, I was very sad last year that Wimbledon was cancelled.
“[It was] very difficult times for everyone, but I’m really glad that the sport is back and hopefully you guys have enjoyed it and you will enjoy it in the next couple of weeks.”