First-day upsets good news for Djokovic in Wimbledon title defence

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Novak Djokovic began the week as the favourite to win Wimbledon and his chances have already been substantially boosted after the first day of the tournament.

The opening day’s play at SW19 revolved around players in the top half of the men’s draw, with two unexpected shocks taking place, the biggest of which happened in the quarter of the world number one.

While Djokovic was kicking off his Wimbledon defence with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 defeat of Juan Carlos Ferrero, Tomas Berdych found himself dumped out of the Grand Slam.

The number six seed suffered the fairly rare feat of losing three successive tie-breaks to be eliminated at the first hurdle by Ernests Gulbis in straight sets.

Having reached at least the fourth round for the last three years at Wimbledon and in both Grand Slams so far this year, many would have identified Berdych as the big threat to Djokovic in the top quarter.

This mantle may now fall on Richard Gasquet, especially with Nicolas Almagro involved in a typical Wimbledon five-setter in the opening round.

Djokovic is now 6/4 in the Wimbledon odds.

The other shock was the exit of John Isner, whose big serve should have proved a big weapon on grass.

Isner fell to Alejandro Falla in a deciding set, which will benefit number eight seed Janko Tipsarevic in the shorter term after he came through the most anticipated first-round clash with David Nalbandian.

Tipsarevic is in the second quarter along with Roger Federer and could run into Djokovic to make an all-Serbian semi final.

The problem for Tipsarevic though is that he has lost all five career meetings with Federer, which means the Swiss star would be the more likely of the two to reach the semi finals.

This would also suit Djokovic as he has prevailed in seven of his last eight meetings with Federer, with the one hiccup coming at last year’s French Open.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.