Rising British star Jack Draper absolutely enjoyed playing against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Wimbledon's Centre Court. Draper, ranked at No. 253 in the world, won the opening set before Djokovic stormed back to win 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2.
Draper broke Djokovic in the third game of the first set and served out for the opener in the 10th game. After losing the opening set, Djokovic dominated the rest of the match and claimed a comeback win. Djokovic broke Draper twice in each of the last three sets and dropped no service games.
"He's one of the greatest players of all time. I'm still 19. I've still got a lot to improve on and learn. I can do that from him. He's a great role model for any young player. I was glad to share the court with him," Draper said, per Ravi Ubha.
Djokovic praised Draper
"It feels great seeing everyone and being back on probably the most special, the most sacred tennis court in the world," said Djokovic, in an on-court interview. "Obviously, alongside many other players, I was very sad last year that Wimbledon was cancelled.
[It was] very difficult times for everyone, but I'm really glad that the sport is back and hopefully you guys have enjoyed it and you will enjoy it in the next couple of weeks." Djokovic slipped many times on the grass.
"To be honest, I don't recall falling this many times on the court," said Djokovic. "[It was] obviously a huge honour to walk onto this court, for me at least the most special court. I always dreamed of playing at Wimbledon [and] winning Wimbledon one day when I was a kid growing up in Serbia."
Also, Djokovic spoke positively of Draper following their Wimbledon clash. "He definitely deserves a round of applause," said Djokovic. "He's a youngster, only 19. [I] hadn't seen him play too much prior to the Queen's tournament, [where] he played pretty well and won a couple of matches against higher-ranked players.
Walking onto Wimbledon's Centre Court for him for the first time, I think he has done extremely well. He carried himself very maturely on the court. I think he behaved well, he backed himself, he believed that he could come back, and he deserves credit for that. I wish him all the best for the rest of his career."