Picture: Snooker GOAT Ronnie O'Sullivan watches Novak Djokovic

Ronnie O'Sullivan met Novak Djokovic after the Serb's first-round Wimbledon win

by Jovica Ilic
Picture: Snooker GOAT Ronnie O'Sullivan watches Novak Djokovic
© Sean M. Haffey / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic made a winning start at Wimbledon, beating Vit Kopriva 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 58 minutes. The snooker legend Ronnie O'Sullivan watched the match on Centre Court with his daughter. After the duel, Novak got a chance to speak with Ronnie, and he would love to embrace snooker shots with him in the future, admitting he needs improvements.

O'Sullivan is a long-time tennis fan, often mentioning tennis legends and saying nice words about them. The tennis GOAT played well in front of the snooker GOAT, controlling the course of the match and celebrating his first win since surgery on a torn meniscus that forced him to withdraw from Roland Garros.

Djokovic looked good on the court, stressing his knee without issues and finding the rhythm after a couple of games. Novak was pleased with his level, serving well and taming Vit's serves nicely en route to his 93rd Wimbledon victory.

Ronnie OSullivan, Wimbledon2024© Stream screenshot

Djokovic is competing at the All England Club for the 19th time, seeking the record-equalling eighth title after missing it a year ago. The Serb fired ten aces and used his first serve as a powerful weapon.

The Serb dropped only ten points behind the initial shot, facing no break points and keeping the pressure on the other side. Djokovic grabbed over half of the return points, turning them into 15 break chances and seizing six, two in each set.

Novak landed 32 winners and 16 unforced errors, outplaying Vit's 25-30 ratio. The Czech qualifier could not find free points with his initial shot. Also, he tried to beat the Serb from the baseline, which did not turn out well for him.

Djokovic made a reliable start, firing service winners in the opening two service games for a 2-1 lead. The fourth game lasted 14 minutes, and Kopriva played against six break chances. The Czech denied five, doing everything to survive and avoid an early setback.

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024© Sean M. Haffey / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic is off to a winning start at Wimbledon.

However, the veteran stayed composed and converted the sixth following a solid defense and the rival's mistake.

Djokovic drew Kopriva's mistake in the fifth game, holding at love and opening a 4-1 advantage. Novak created three break points in the sixth game with a deep return and landed another on the first, drawing Vit's mistake and extending the lead.

The Serb served for the opener at 5-1 and held at love with an unreturned serve, rattling off 14 points and clinching the first part of the encounter in style after 33 minutes. Djokovic served well in the second set and kept the pressure on Kopriva.

Vit faced problems in the first game, facing two break points but saving them and holding. Novak grabbed the second game with a forehand winner and made another push on the return in the next one. Kopriva wasted game points and suffered a break on the second chance offered to Djokovic, losing an extended rally and propelling the Serb in front.

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024© Sean M. Haffey / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak cemented the advantage with a hold at love in game four and repeated that 3-2 with a powerful serve, keeping everything under control.

Vit earned game points in game seven and squandered them. The Czech netted a routine forehand on a break point, losing serve and falling 5-2 behind. Djokovic served for the set in game eight and landed a service winner on a set point, forging two sets to love advantage after an hour and 18 minutes.

Vit played his best tennis early in the third set and stayed in touch with a 24-time Major winner. The Czech held in the first game with a drop shot winner, and the Serb responded with a hold at 30 in the next one for 1-1. Kopriva grabbed the third game for another advantage before facing issues at 2-2.

Novak forced Vit's mistake for two break points and converted the second after Vit's loose forehand, moving 3-2 in front and closer to the finish line.

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024© Sean M. Haffey / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Djokovic cemented the break with a nice serve & volley combo in the sixth game and kicked off the next one with rock-solid court coverage and a forehand winner.

Kopriva moved 30-15 in front with a backhand down the line winner and earned a game point after drawing Djokovic's mistake. Novak denied it with a forehand attack and reached another deuce after the rival's double fault. The Czech sprayed a forehand error, facing a break point and placing a backhand wide to get broken and send the Serb 5-2 in front.

Djokovic served for the win in game nine and landed an ace for two match points. He seized the first with an ace down the T line, sealing the deal in style and moving into the second round. "I'm Ronnie's fan. I have been watching snooker just because of him.

We just had a meet-up, interacting for the first time. It was really nice to have him around. I'm really bad at snooker, and hopefully, we can play a bit so I can improve, because I'm really bad at it," Novak Djokovic said.

Novak Djokovic Wimbledon