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Djokovic is hoping for a golden run with Ivanisevic


Full stretch: Novak Djokovic returns during his victory
Full stretch: Novak Djokovic returns during his victory
Kyle Edmund

By Andy Sims

Novak Djokovic hopes Goran Ivanisevic can propel him towards a fifth Wimbledon title and beyond.

World No.1 Djokovic has recruited former SW19 winner Ivanisevic to work alongside coach Marian Vajda as they plot his assault on this year's Championships.

Djokovic won six Grand Slam titles when he was coached by three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, and he wants to harness the experience of another course and distance winner over the next fortnight.

"I called Goran and asked him whether he's available to come to Wimbledon and sort of give it a try, and have a little bit of a trial type of tournament where we get to know each other and see how it works," said Djokovic.

"I'm really glad he accepted and came over. I don't know if he will be able to stay for the whole tournament, it depends how I go. He's got some commitments in the second week.

"But everything so far has been working really well. We've known each other for a long time. It didn't take too much time for us to really feel comfortable next to one another.

"I've seen him around in the last seven, eight years a lot because he coached three top players that I've played against many times. It's nice to have him on my side of the net this time.

"I spoke to Marian. We both agreed that we were looking for someone that was a former champion, someone that knows how I feel on the court, someone that has been through that.

"We agreed with the concept, the idea of introducing a new coach, an addition like Boris Becker was a few years ago.

"It was a very successful period with Boris. We're hoping we can have the same with Goran."

The new team got off to a winning start, despite a wobble or two, as defending champion Djokovic wore down Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber in three sets.

The Serbian, widely expected to enjoy another trouble-free run to this year's final, dropped serve at the start of the first two sets but recovered to run out a 6-3 7-5 6-3 winner.

After blotting his copy book in game one, order was restored as Djokovic broke straight back, and he repeated the trick on his way to taking the first set in 38 minutes.

The second set began in identical fashion, Kohlschreiber breaking the Djokovic serve only to immediately drop his own.

Kohlschreiber, who beat Djokovic earlier this year in Indian Wells, fended off three break points to hold for 4-4, but the 15-time Grand Slam winner stepped up a notch and found a way through at the end of the set.

It was a valiant effort from 35-year-old Kohlschreiber, but as Djokovic settled into the match suddenly points against his serve were becoming increasingly scarce.

The 32-year-old cranked up the pressure and two breaks from 3-3 in the third ensured he prevailed in just over two hours to set up a meeting with American World No.111 Denis Kudla in round two.

Kyle Edmund got his Wimbledon campaign up and running in comfortable fashion as he beat Jaume Munar in straight sets.

Closing the opening day's play on Centre Court, Edmund did not let a hopeful home crowd down as he strolled to a 6-4 6-4 6-4 win over the Spaniard.

It is just the British No.1's fourth ever victory at SW19 and fresh from his run to the semi-final at Eastbourne he looked in good shape, peppering 45 winners off both wings.

He will now play veteran Fernando Verdasco in the next round, which will provide a much sterner test for the 24-year-old.

Even though he got off to a scratchy start, losing the first two games, there was never much chance of a shock.

He rattled off six of the next eight games to take the first set 6-4, but made a meal of it as he eventually claimed it on his 10th set point.

Edmund continued to boss matters and a break in the fifth game of the second set allowed him to take it 6-4.

The third set looked like being a straightforward affair as the Brit raced into a 4-0 lead but he again made hard work of it.

Last year's runner-up Kevin Anderson eased into round two after a straight-sets win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

The big-serving South African, who 12 months ago shocked Roger Federer in the quarter-finals and then came through a marathon five-setter against John Isner, won 6-3 6-4 6-2.

Frenchman Herbert will turn his full attention to the doubles with Andy Murray.

Three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka made short work of Belgian Ruben Bemelmans, the Swiss roaring to a 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory.

Belfast Telegraph


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