Novak Djokovic has moved into the Wimbledon second round on as 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt’s 17-year All England Club career came to a bruising end.
Defending champion Djokovic on Monday enjoyed a 6-4 6-4 6-4 win over Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber with crucial breaks in the ninth game of each set.
But the world No.1 and top seed again found himself defending allegations that coach Boris Becker is using various means to coach him from the sidelines, a practice which is banned.
“I’m just trying to figure out what you want to achieve with this story. Do you want to say I’m cheating, my team? I’m really trying to figure out what’s behind this,” fumed the 28-year-old Djokovic.
Djokovic, playing his first match since his defeat to Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final three weeks ago ended his hopes of completing a career grand slam, hit 12 aces and 36 winners past world No.33 Kohlschreiber.
He next faces Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen who defeated Hewitt 3-6 6-3 4-6 6-0 11-9 in a four-hour marathon.
It was Hewitt’s last singles match at the tournament – and 44th five-setter at the majors – as he plans to retire after next year’s Australian Open.
“To beat him here when it’s my last time here as well, it’s tough to find the words,” Nieminen said.
In other 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).
Germany’s Tommy Haas, at 37 years and 100 days old, and who first played Wimbledon in 1997, beat Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 6-2 6-3 4-6 6-2 to become the oldest man to win a match at Wimbledon since Jimmy Connors (38 years 308 days) in 1991.
Japan’s fifth seed Kei Nishikori needed his lower left leg strapped before clinching a gruelling 6-3 6-7 (4/7) 6-2 3-6 6-3 win over Italy’s Simone Bolelli.
Meanwhile, Canadian seventh seed Milos Raonic, a semi-finalist last year, beat Spain’s Daniel Gimeno 6-2 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7/4).
Seven-time champion Roger Federer, two-time winner Rafael Nadal and 2013 champion Andy Murray all start their bids on Tuesday.