Defending champion Novak Djokovic got his campaign for a fifth Wimbledon title off to a winning start on Monday with newly-hired coaching team recruit, and 2001 winner, Goran Ivanisevic helping steer the ship.
Djokovic, chasing a fifth title at the All England Club, saw off 35-year-old Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-3, 7-5, 6-3.
But he had to recover from early breaks in both of the first two sets against a player who beat him at Indian Wells this year, as well as a nasty fall on the Centre Court grass.
Djokovic, chasing a 16th career major, will face Denis Kudla of the United States for a place in the last 32.
If his victory was routine, there was nothing predictable about the Serb’s surprise decision to bring Ivanisevic into his inner sanctum over the weekend.
Djokovic said that he and Ivanisevic have been long-time friends.
“I have always looked up to Goran. When he won here in 2001, I feel I was part of that as he had trained in Germany at the same base as me when I was 13-14,” said Djokovic.
“I feel as if I contributed to his victory,” he joked.
Fourth seed Kevin Anderson, runner-up to Djokovic in 2018, eased into the second round beating Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
Anderson will now play Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic who registered his first win at the tournament in seven years when he defeated Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.
In the women’s event, third seed Karolina Pliskova made it through, beating China’s Zhu Lin 6-2, 7-6 (7/4).