He needed four sets (6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4) and 2:27 to get there, but the main thing is done for Novak Djokovic.
The 35-year-old Serbian qualified for the second round of Wimbledon on Monday.
He offered himself a difficult 80th victory in the British tournament which makes him the only player, men and women alike, to have reached this bar in the four rounds of the Grand Slam.
"Let's now aim for the 100th!"
“Launched the world No. 3 before leaving Center Court, the roof of which had been closed on this first day of the tournament, disturbed by the rain.
The triple title holder has not lost at Wimbledon since 2017, a series of 22 consecutive victories, and obtained his sixth title last year.
If he wins his seventh this year, he would be close to the record of 22 Grand Slam titles held by Rafael Nadal.
An inevitable decline in the rankings
He knows, however, that he will drop in the ATP rankings at the end of the tournament regardless of his result.
Indeed, he will lose his points from last year because the 2022 edition does not distribute any points on the decision of the ATP (and the WTA for women) in reaction to the refusal of the organizers to accept Russian players (including world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev) and Belarusians because of the war in Ukraine.
For his part, Carlos Alcaraz (7th) got scared before finally dismissing the German Jan-Lennard Struff (155th) 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6 -4.
The Pole Hubert Hurkacz (10th) passed through the entry hatch.
Roger Federer's scorer in the quarter last year lost to Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich (37th), 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 5-7, 2-6, 7 -6 (10/8).
Another outsider left the men's draw prematurely: Croatian Marin Cilic, 2017 finalist, withdrew after testing positive for Covid, he said on Instagram.
The French and French Caroline Garcia, Diane Parry, Adrian Mannarino, Ugo Humbert and Quentin Halys (beater of Benoît Paire) will see the second round.
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