Sutton teenager Jack Draper took a set off world number one Novak Djokovic during their first round tie at Wimbledon, but was unable to capitalise and lost 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2 to the defending champion.
Draper, who was the finalist of the Wimbledon boys’ singles in 2018, started strongly, breaking Djokovic in only the third game of the match, and held on to take the first set, the first Djokovic has lost at Wimbledon since 2010.
However from there it was one way traffic, as the Serb, who is chasing a Grand Slam sweep in 2021, having already won the Australian Open and the French Open, clicked into gear.
Nevertheless, it was a heroic performance and a moment to savour for the 19-year-old, in his first match at a Grand Slam tournament on his home turf of south west London.
Draper, who has previously spoken to South West Londoner about the un-glamorous side of tennis, received a wildcard for the first round after breaking into the top 250 in the world last week.
And his performance, albeit in defeat, will have left no doubt that he has a future at the top level of the sport.
Moreover, opening the tournament on centre court will have been a huge experience for the youngster, even if the venue wasn’t full due to coronavirus regulations.
Also taking his place on the famous SW19 court later today will be Andy Murray, making his return to Wimbledon for the first time in four years.
Away from centre court, play was delayed on the first day of the tournament due to rain, with 22-year-old British qualifier Katie Swan now in action against US 23rd seed Madison Keys on court three.
Also featuring in the women’s singles is 22-year-old Jodie Burrage from Kingston against American Lauren Davis on court five.