Tokyo Olympics: Novak Djokovic beats Hugo Dellien to continue his quest for gold medal

New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Jul 24, 2021, 04:06 PM IST


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The world number one launched his bid to stay on course for a Golden Slam with a clinical 6-2 6-2 win over 139th-ranked Hugo Dellien.

Novak Djokovic launched his bid to stay on course for a Golden Slam with a clinical 6-2, 6-2 win over 139th-ranked Hugo Dellien of Bolivia on Saturday, as sweltering conditions in Tokyo took a toll on the players on the opening day of tennis at the Games.

Steffi Graf is the only player to have won all four Grand Slams and the Olympic gold in the same year but the 34-year-old Serbian is three-fifths of the way there, needing a Tokyo gold and then the US Open trophy to match the German's 1988 feat.

The world number one would not have wanted to spend too much time on the court in the heat and humidity and wrapped up proceedings on Centre Court on day one in about an hour.

With temperatures hovering around 33 degrees Celsius (91.4°F) with high humidity, players struggled to cope and did not find much comfort from ice bags and a tube blowing cool air.

"Very tough," Djokovic, who will face German Jan-Lennard Struff in the second round, said about the conditions.

"I think today, from also speaking to other players, was the hottest day so far. It's very hot but also humid. The hardcourts absorb the heat, it stays trapped in there. Not much wind, not much breeze. It was challenging definitely.

"But I'm pleased to overcome the first hurdle and I think I was solid on the court. I can always do better but the first match, I'm satisfied."