Novak Djokovic’s brilliant act for Ash Barty after Wimbledon win




Novak Djokovic has paid a touching tribute to Ash Barty and the women’s tennis cohort by suggesting they should be given the honour of playing the first match on Centre Court at Wimbledon.




Djokovic was honoured to take on the traditional role on Monday, playing home hopeful Jack Draper in the first match





But the World No.1 and defending champion sounded as though he would have been just as happy if Barty had been offered the role.




Fellow World No.1 Barty will step out in the first match on Centre Court on Tuesday in the slot traditionally reserved for the ladies’ champion of the previous year.




With Simona Halep out injured, Barty’s match against Carla Suarez Navarro got the honour on the 50th anniversary of the triumph by her Australian idol Evonne Goolagong.




But regardless of who got that honour, Djokovic said he would be perfectly happy for Wimbledon to ditch the tradition of having the male defending champion always open proceedings.





After beginning his quest for a sixth Wimbledon title by beating Draper 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2, Djokovic was asked if it was about time that the women’s champion got the chance to start the Centre Court show on a Monday.





And the Serbian star evidently felt it was.

“Why not? I’m not in the committee of Wimbledon, so I don’t make those decisions,” he said.





“My opinion, of course, in terms of decisions-making process doesn’t matter much.




“Of course, that would be nice to see. They deserve it. I will be in favour of it.”



Barty’s match against Spanish cancer survivor Suarez Navarro would have been a fitting and emotional way to open The Championships.




But it still fits the bill perfectly in the traditional second-day slot.


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