The opening day of 2021 Wimbledon was marked with rain as several of the 23 matches were suspended. Top seed Novak Djokovic, fifth seed Andrey Rublev and eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut were among the seeded winners.
Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, 19th seed Jannik Sinner, 27th seed Reilly Opelka and 30th seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina were all upset victims while Andy Murray sent 24th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili packing.
Five-time champion overcomes early challenge from British wild card
Djokovic needed four sets to oust British wild card Jack Draper 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. The world number 253 delighted the home crowd by breaking early in the first set, saving seven break points and closing with a strong hold to take a stunning lead.
The two-time defending champion fought back and took 13 of the first 16 points in the second set and back-to-back aces helped him level the match. He broke early in the third, winning 12 of the final 14 points and cruised through in the fourth.
"It feels great seeing everyone and being back on probably the most special, the most sacred tennis court in the world", he said after the match. "He (Draper) definitely deserves a round of applause. He carried himself very maturely on court. I wish him all the best for the rest of his career."
Murray triumphant in return to singles action
Back at Wimbledon for the first time since 2017, Murray overcame a third set stumble to knock out Basilashvili 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. After the first nine games featured easy holds, Murray took his first break chance to close out the set and cruised through the second.
It seemed to be a routine victory as the Brit led 5-0 in the third only to see the Georgian storm back, stunning the crowd by taking seven consecutive games, but Murray broke twice early in the fourth and wrapped up the victory in three hours, 32 minutes.
Rublev, Bautista Agut move on; Sinner, Opelka, Davidovich Fokina upset
Rublev overcame an early deficit against Federico Delbonis before prevailing 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2. The fifth-seeded Russian made 12 unforced errors in the opening set, but cleaned up his game and hit 40 winners to advance.
Not as fortunate were Sinner, knocked out by Marton Fucsovics 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, 6-3, Opelka, beaten 6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-2 by Dominik Koepfer and Davidovich Fokina, who blew a two-set lead, losing to Denis Kudla 5-7, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-3.
Scores of suspended matches
The other suspended matches saw ninth seed Diego Schwartzman leading Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-4, 13th seed Gael Monfils level with Christopher O'Connell 6-4, 2-6, 6-6 and 26th seed Fabio Fognini ahead of Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6 (4), 6-2.
Qualifiers Oscar Otte and Arthur Rinderknech were knotted at 9-9 in the fifth set, Soon-woo Kwon led Daniel Masur 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-4, 2-0 and Lloyd Harris was two sets in front of Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-4, 6-6.
Finally, in other results, former finalist Kevin Anderson got past Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (4), Vasek Pospisil swept through Roberto Carballes Baena 6-3, 6-3, 6-3, Pedro Martinez beat Stefano Travaglia 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, Miomir Kecmanovic got past Facundo Bagnis 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1) and Andreas Seppi was victorious over Joao Sousa 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2.