Novak Djokovic came from a set down to start his Wimbledon defence with an ultimately comfortable victory over Jack Draper in the first round. Djokovic can move level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on a record 20 grand slam singles titles if he prevails again at the All England Club.
But he found himself unexpectedly trailing against the British teenager after a rusty first set, Djokovic having had little time to adapt to the grass following the clay-court season that saw him win the French Open.
However, Djokovic soon found his rhythm despite an admirable display from the wildcard and will now face either Kevin Anderson or Marcelo Barrios Vera in the second round after a 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2 win.
A shaky service game saw Draper claim the first break of the match, an advantage he was able to cling on to as Djokovic failed to take any of his seven break points.
But the world number one was ruthless in the second, taking his first opportunity to break as he surged into a 3-0 lead en route to levelling the match emphatically.
A mishit overhead from the big-serving Draper helped Djokovic forge ahead in the third and there was no way back for Draper thereafter.
Indeed, by the fourth, Djokovic was in full flow, excelling with his serve, his footwork and the accuracy of his groundstrokes, the slickness of a Centre Court not played on for two years causing more problems than Draper as he clinched triumph in just over two hours.
Data slam: Djokovic finds his footing
Both Djokovic and Draper tumbled to the ground on several occasions during an entertaining contest, with the damp conditions outside and the use of the roof surely not helping the players adjust to the surface.
"I don't recall falling this many times on the court," Djokovic said afterwards.
But he will continue to see challengers fall by the wayside should he continue serving as he did in this clash, sending down 25 aces, the last of which completed the victory, and winning 87 per cent of points on his first serve.
Djokovic – 47/24
Draper – 26/27
Djokovic – 25/1
Draper – 4/6
BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic – 6/15
Draper – 1/3