Rafael Nadal (9/2 Wimbledon Outright) survived an opening round scare at Wimbledon as he battled back to beat Francisco Cerundolo in four sets.
The Spaniard strode through the first two sets but Cerundolo replied in the third, breaking serve twice and doing the same in the third game of the fourth.
The Argentine then held his serve but Nadal found his game again, winning five out of six games to seal a 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-4 victory in three hours and 33 minutes on Centre Court and set up a second-round match-up with Ricardas Beranakis.
Having won both the Australian and French Opens, he has now become the fifth player to win his first 15 Grand Slam matches of the year.
The 32-year-old remains on course for a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam title but admitted he will need to improve if he is to claim a first Wimbledon title since 2010.
“It is not a surface that we play very often especially in my case in the last three years I didn’t put any foot on the grass,” he said. “Every day is a test and I am at the beginning of the tournament and the difficult circumstances [under which] I arrived here.
“For me the most important thing is that I am in Wimbledon 2022 and I won the first match.”
Wimbledon Betting Odds
In-form Ryan Peniston continued his emergence by beating world number 96 Henri Laaksonen 6-4 6-3 6-2 and is joined in the second round by fellow Brit Jack Draper, who overcame Zizou Bergs 6-4 6-4 7-6.
It was a different story for Paul Jubb, who battled all the way, only to go down in five sets to Nick Kyrgios (20/1 Wimbledon Outright).
There was a fine start to the day for the Brits as Heather Watson returned after her first round match was paused overnight to beat Germany’s Tamara Korpatsch 6-7 7-5 6-2.
Watson broke her opponent twice in the decider and will now face China’s Wang Qiang, who upset Belinda Bencic.
However, it wasn’t to be for Katie Swan as she lost in three sets to Marta Kostyuk but there were no such worries for tournament favourite Iga Swiatek (6/4 Wimbledon Outright).
The world number one extended her winning streak to a record 36 victories with a comfortable 6-0 6-3 success over qualifier Jana Fett but admitted she is still finding her feet on the turf.
“I’m just figuring out how to play,” the 21-year-old said. “I knew it was going to be tricky. I am pretty happy I came back and did it in two sets,” she said in her on-court interview.
“I feel I have only played 12 weeks of my life on grass but the whole atmosphere and tradition is pumping me up and just looking forward to the next matches.”
Fifth seed Maria Sakkari (25/1 Wimbledon Outright) also progressed courtesy of a comfortable win over Zoe Hives, while 2019 champion Simona Halep (12/1) had no issues as she breezed past Karolina Muchova 6-3 6-2.
Another former champion Petra Kvitova (12/1 Wimbledon Outright) also made it through, coming from a set down to beat Jasmine Paolini 2-6 6-4 6-2, while Cori Gauff (12/1) also needed three sets to overcome Gabriela Ruse.
Tennis Betting Odds