Defending champion Novak Djokovic has reached the Wimbledon second round as organisers boosted security and weathermen ramped up warnings of a crushing heatwave.
The top seed enjoyed a 6-4 6-4 6-4 win over Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber with crucial breaks in the ninth game of each set on Monday and goes on to face either 2004 champion Lleyton Hewitt or Jarkko Nieminen for a place in the last 32.
“This is the cradle of our sport,” said Djokovic, playing his first match since his defeat to Stan Wawrinka at the final of the French Open three weeks ago ended his hopes of completing a career grand slam.
“There is no bigger tournament in our sport than Wimbledon. It’s always a special feeling to come out here as defending champion. There’s always a few butterflies.”
Djokovic, also the 2011 champion, hit 12 aces and 36 winners past world number 33 Kohlschreiber.
In other early action on Monday, Australia’s 26th seed Nick Kyrgios, who knocked out Rafael Nadal last year, eased past Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 6-0 6-2 7-6 (8/6).
US Open champion Marin Cilic, the ninth seeded Croatian and a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon last year, got past Japanese qualifier Hiroki Moriya 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7/4).
On the first day of the 2015 championships, security was stepped up in the aftermath of the weekend jihadist killings of 38 tourists in Tunisia, most of whom were British.
Britain’s national terror threat level is currently at “severe”, meaning an attack is considered highly likely.
Police said extra officers would be on duty patrolling the area, while road closures and a “highly mobile reserve that can respond to emerging incidents” were also in place.
As well as security, fans and players were also bracing themselves for a rare British heatwave.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, temperature are expected to be in the low to mid-30s.
Also in action later Monday are Wawrinka, fresh from his French Open win, who faces Portugal’s Joao Sousa. Japan’s Kei Nishikori, the fifth seed, meets Italy’s Simone Bolelli.
Seven-time champion Roger Federer, two-time winner Rafael Nadal and 2013 champion Andy Murray all start their bids on Tuesday.