Rain, British hopefuls and a victory for Novak Djokovic.
Day 1 of Wimbledon 2023 had all the ingredients you would usually expect.
The only odd feeling was Sue Barker being away from her BBC podium…
Djokovic’s dry run
Scenes on Centre Court at the All England Club were a tad surreal.
As Novak Djokovic began his tournament against challenger Pedro Cachin, there was a full 80-minute delay on opening day.
Despite the roof being closed, towels and even leaf blowers – you read that right – were used to get players back on court.
When play got underway, Djokovic looked in relaxed mood, eventually sailing through 6-3 6-3 7-6 (7-4) over the Argentinian underdog.
“Every time I come out I normally have racquets, not towels – it was fun to do something different,” Djokovic said.
“It was definitely frustrating for all the crowd waiting for us to come out on court. We both wanted to play but the conditions were not great and still slippery.
“Once the roof was open it was a different story and after five or 10 minutes we were able to play.”
Next up for the seven-time Wimbledon champion is Australia’s 70th-ranked Jordan Thompson.
Ups and downs for Brits
As a strong entourage of Brits began their campaign, there was huge disappointment – and a fair amount of frustration – for Harriet Dart.
After two third round appearances in the past two years, she was knocked out on Court 12 to France’s Diane Parry.
Throwing her racquet down in anger in losing 6-7 (4-7) 6-0 6-4, another Brit, Katie Swan was also eliminated 7-5 6-2 to Swiss 14th seed Belinda Bencic.
There were victories, however, for Liam Broady – who advanced with a 6-3 6-1 7-5 victory over French 74th-ranked player Constant Lestienne – as well as an emotional Jodie Burrage.
The 24-year-old could barely fight back the tears after reaching the Wimbledon second round for the first time in her career, beating Caty McNally 6-1 6-4.
Elsewhere, Dan Evans faces an uphill task, trailing France’s Quentin Halys 6-2, 6-3 from overnight when bad light stopped play.
The home fans will hope for better fortunes for the Brits on day two.
Speaking of which…
Murray likes his odds
Andy Murray gets his Wimbledon campaign up and running on Tuesday against fellow Briton, wildcard Ryan Peniston.
And Murray, the two-time champion on these courts fancies his chances of going deep into the tournament.
“I believe I’m one of the best grass-court players in the world, and I’m physically feeling really good,” said Murray.
“I prepared well, so there’s no reason why I can’t have a good tournament?”
Murray has two grass court titles to his name this term at Surbiton and Nottingham.
Coming into Wimbledon, despite his 36-years-of-age and weaker post-hip surgery, it will be fascinating to see how he fares.
Our betting tip of the day: Dominic Thiem to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas (4/1)