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Wimbledon: What we learned in week one

  • Matt Trollope

With six glorious days of play before Middle Sunday setting the stage for Manic Monday, we reflect on what has unfolded to get us to this point at Wimbledon.

Djokovic on track for more history

Novak Djokovic’s quest for a calendar-year Golden Grand Slam continues, with the world No.1 riding a 14-match winning streak into the fourth round.

Djokovic has reached the second week after winning nine sets in a row, avoiding a similar let-down to 2016, when he arrived at Wimbledon after winning Roland Garros only to crash out in the third round.

Should he triumph at Wimbledon, Djokovic would become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win the year’s first three major tournaments. 

He takes on 17th seed Cristian Garin on Monday for a place in the quarterfinals.

Women’s draw holds firm

Twelve of the top 16 seeds were gone by the third round at Roland Garros. However, the top players in the Wimbledon women’s draw have looked far steadier. 

Four of the top 10 seeds – Ash Barty, Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek and Karolina Pliskova – have advanced to the last 16, while reigning Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova also remains alive.

Form has mattered, with Krejcikova, Angelique Kerber and Liudmila Samsonova carrying impressive winning streaks into the second week after victories at prior tournaments.

With high-profile players like Coco Gauff, Ons Jabeur and Madison Keys also through to the fourth round, a compelling group of players are still in contention for the Venus Rosewater Dish.

READ MORE: "I don't want the journey to stop here," says Jabeur

Aryna Sabalenka celebrates her second-round victory over Katie Boulter at Wimbledon
No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka, seen celebrating her second-round win over Katie Boulter, has produced her best ever result at Wimbledon by reaching the last 16. (Getty Images)

Federer’s still got it

Roger Federer has shrugged off indifferent lead-up form on grass to reach the second week at Wimbledon for the 17th time in his past 18 visits. 

The sixth seed survived a scare in the opening round against Adrian Mannarino before dismissing Richard Gasquet and then seeing off the dangerous No.29 seed Cameron Norrie in round three. 

Federer, approaching his 40th birthday, has credited an improved attitude for helping carry him to this stage at his favourite tournament once again.

RELATED: "I just felt very much at peace out there," says Federer

Having now reached back-to-back last 16s at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, Federer faces the vastly-less-experienced Lorenzo Sonego – a recent Eastbourne finalist – for a shot at his 18th Wimbledon quarterfinal.

Young guns are coming

Coco Gauff, the 17-year-old phenom, has returned to the fourth round at Wimbledon for the second time in a row – and she hasn’t dropped a set so far.

RELATED: "My belief is a lot stronger now," says Gauff

Neither has fellow teen Emma Raducanu, the unheralded 18-year-old British wildcard who has thrilled the host nation with inspired play against far more experienced opponents.

Sebastian Korda is another who has impressed onlookers, with the 20-year-old’s easy power proving too much for seeds Alex de Minaur and Dan Evans and helping him though to the last 16 for the first time.

Also into the second week are Swiatek, Samsonova, Elena Rybakina, Denis Shapovlov and Felix Auger-Aliassime – all aged 22 and under.

Resurgent players

Kerber owned a lean win-loss record of 8-9 in 2021 before the grass-court season, where she has caught fire and won nine of her past 10 matches. The world No.28, a former Wimbledon champion, carries an eight-match winning streak into her fourth-round Centre Court blockbuster against Gauff.

Pliskova recently fell out of the top 10 for the first time in five years but finds herself in the fourth round – equalling her best Wimbledon performance – after three straight-sets wins in week one. 

Hubert Hurkacz arrived at SW19 on a six-match losing streak, and Karen Khachanov had lost eight of his past 13 matches, but both are now through to the last 16.

And taking centre stage for much of week one was two-time champion Andy Murray, who produced a heart-warming run to the third round to record his best Grand Slam showing in four years.

READ MORE: "I can still play at the highest level," says Murray

Denis Shapovalov and Andy Murray at net after their third-round match at Wimbledon
Andy Murray's Wimbledon run came to an end in the third round at the hands of Denis Shapovalov (L). (Getty Images)

Awesome Aussies

Five Australians advanced to the third round in singles for the first time since 1989, in what marked career-best Wimbledon performances for Ajla Tomljanovic, Jordan Thomspon and James Duckworth.

Tomljanovic then went one better, upsetting Jelena Ostapenko to join countrywomen Barty in the last 16 and equal her best-ever Slam performance; she reached the same stage at Roland Garros seven years ago.

Should Barty and Tomljanovic win their fourth-round matches on Monday, they would meet in the first all-Australian women’s Wimbledon quarterfinal since Evonne Goolagong-Cawley beat Wendy Turnbull in 1980.

Nick Kyrgios also reached the third round for the fifth time in seven visits before injury ended his campaign; he had made a popular return to the tour after four months away.