Djokovic avoids vaccine issue as Kvitova suffers shock exit

Defending champion Novak Djokovic side-stepped a question about the Covid-19 vaccine in his post match press conference that followed his first round win at Wimbledon against Jack Draper.

jokovic opened up proceedings on Centre Court as Wimbledon resumed after a two year break following last year’s cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic, as he recorded a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 win against his youthful British opponent.

Prior to the match getting underway, the Centre Court crowd gave a standing ovation to prominent members of the scientific community who were involved in the development of the Covid-19 vaccine as they were introduced as special guests in the Royal Box.

Djokovic caused controversy when he voiced his scepticism over Covid-19 vaccines last year and he was asked about the standing ovation for the scientists including Catherine Gilbert at Wimbledon.

eard a standing ovation as I was coming onto the court, but I didn’t know who it was to be for, to be honest,” said Djokovic, who looked a little uncomfortable as he answered the question and declined to offer any more comment.

Meanwhile, American Frances Tiafoe caused the first big upset of the men’s singles tournament by beating third seed and Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 who was playing his first match since his French Open final defeat to Djokovic.

In the women’s game, Sloane Stephens made a spectacular return to grass after she knocked out two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the first round.

The American triumphed 6-3, 6-4 over the 10th seed in an enthralling battle on Centre Court with the roof open after the wet weather from earlier in the day had disappeared.

“Obviously seeing the first round, I was like, ‘Oh boy, this is going to be a difficult task’,” Stephens said. “But knowing that I’ll probably play on a big court and feeling good, I was excited to play against Petra.”

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