Reigning champion Novak Djokovic content as Wimbledon title defence begins with crushing victory over Briton James Ward

Ross McLean
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Day One: The Championships - Wimbledon 2016
Djokovic is bidding for a fourth Wimbledon title (Source: Getty)

WORLD No1 Novak Djokovic declared himself content after his quest for a third consecutive Wimbledon crown began with a straight sets victory over British wildcard James Ward on Centre Court.

Djokovic claimed the first nine games before world No177 Ward fought back in the second set, although the Serb, who currently holds all four grand slam titles, prevailed 6-0, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.

The 29-year-old will now face Adrian Mannarino in the second round after the Frenchman dispatched British No3 Kyle Edmund 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 on Court Two.

“I honestly didn’t expect myself to start that well. Nine games in a row, 6-0, 3-0,” said Djokovic.

“The first part of the match was almost flawless, so I’m very pleased with the way I started Wimbledon.”

Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, meanwhile, saved two set points while trailing 6-5 to Croatia’s Donna Vekic in the opening set before taking the tie-break and going on to win 7-6 (7-3), 6-4. World No115 Maria Sakkari will be her second-round opponent.