World number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic beat Briton James Ward 6-0 7-6 6-4 in the first round of Wimbledon.
Djokovic, 29, searching for his fourth SW19 title, took the first nine games but Ward fought back in the second set.
“James was serving with a lot of precision and it was not easy to break his serve,” Djokovic told BBC Sport.
The Serb is seeking a calendar Grand Slam having already won the Australian and French Open titles in 2016.
World number 177 Ward struggled early on but finally got on the scoreboard in the 10th game, much to the delight of the Centre Court supporters, and the Londoner celebrated by raising his arms in the air.
But Djokovic – who holds all four Grand Slam titles – showed his class and big game experience to advance.
He added: “There is not really not much to say about the first nine games – it was flawless.
“I felt great and nerves kicked in for James. He started playing better in the second set and it got close – it was solid performance from me though.
“This is probably the most unique experience in tennis, playing as the defending champion, on untouched grass. It is really special to feel this tradition.”
In for the long haul
The 28th seed Sam Querrey was involved in a three-hour-21-minute opening-round match against Czech Lukas Rosol, which the American eventually won 12-10 in the final set.
Querrey had lost the first two sets on tie-breaks but won the next two 6-4 6-2 to force the epic decider.
It was nowhere near the record set by John Isner and Nicolas Mahut in 2010, won 70-68 in the final set by Isner after 11 hours and five minutes of play over three days.
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