Novak Djokovic began his Wimbledon title defence campaign on a positive note on Monday afternoon, beating Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and two minutes.
“It’s great to be back. This is the cradle of our sport. It is a privilege and honour to open this year’s Wimbledon on Centre Court-. -It doesn’t get any bigger than Wimbledon.- -To come back here only conjures up the dearest and the best memories. You have the butterflies and the thoughts that you are coming back to the place where you won last year.”
Nole said about his opponent Philip Kohlschreiber: “I had a very tough opponent who can be very tricky on all surfaces, especially on grass, but I managed to stay composed. I made the crucial breaks at 5-4 in all three sets. Hopefully it can stay that way for me.”
Also Nole remained calm as he answered more questions on the accussations about Boris and him breaking the caoching rule but wanted the spotlight to move on to his tennis.
“You can talk to him [Becker] about it, if he’s willing to talk more about it. But I’m honestly not,” Djokovic, the reigning champion, said. “I’m just trying to figure out what you want to achieve with this story. I don’t understand what you really want. Do you want to say I’m cheating, my team? “I mean, are you asking only me or are you asking other players, as well?”
Comments recently made by Becker sparked the debate which many London newspapers covered on their back pages on Monday, suggesting that he and Djokovic’s other backroom staff “have our ways” of signaling to the Serbian “to tell him it’s good or it’s bad”. Section VIII (i) of the ATP’s rulebook states: “Players shall not receive coaching during a tournament match. Communications of any kind, audible or visible, between a player and a coach may be construed as coaching.”
But Djokovic, who said he had not discussed the issue with Becker before the Kohlschreiber match, felt he had been singled out for questioning about the issue unfairly. “I got this question already two times in the last couple days,”. “I don’t understand what I can say. “There are certain ways of communication which is encouragement, which is support, which is understanding the moment when to, you know, clap or say something that, you know, can lift my energy up, that can kind of motivate me to play a certain point. But it’s all within the rules. “If I am breaking any rules or my team does, I would be fined for that, right? The chair umpire would say ‘coaching penalty’ and that’s it. Or the supervisor, or whoever. I think it has happened in my life, no doubt about that. “I accept the fact if my coach, Boris or Marian [Vajda, a member of his coaching team], do say something that is against the rules that are in place, I have no complaint about the code violation that I get for coaching.”
Match statistics: aces (12-6), double faults (1-4), winners (36-25), unforced errors (21-22), total points won (103-84).
Novak will face Jarkko Nieminen on Wednesday (5-1 H2H record).