Tennis: Djokovic survives Wimbledon scare

Novak Djokovic plays a backhand during the first round of Wimbledon. Photo / Getty Images
Novak Djokovic plays a backhand during the first round of Wimbledon. Photo / Getty Images

Novak Djokovic has sent local hope James Ward on his bike after being warned not to ride his to Wimbledon.

The world No.1 was reported to have been involved in a close shave with a truck pre-tournament but insisted wildcard Ward came closer to knocking him off on Tuesday.

"Yeah, actually just also recently they told me about that small article that went into papers. There is no truth to that," Djokovic said after opening his title defence with a 6-0 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 win.

"Actually I did come few days in the beginning of the week before Wimbledon with my bicycle.

"I was asked for my own safety not to arrive with the bicycle inside of the All England Club territory.

"So from the gate of Aorangi (practise courts) where I enter with the bicycle to the transportation desk, which is a little uphill - literally 20 metres - it's very dangerous traffic around there.

"So for my own safety, I accepted their suggestion. I have not used the bicycle ever since to come to the club.

"But I did not have any kind of truck or supply vehicle accident or something like that that was mentioned in the papers.

"Not even close, no. Thankfully."

Close shave or not, Djokovic was also cruising at 6-0 3-0 against Ward before suffering a scare.

Britain's world No.177 fought back to force a second-set tiebreaker before the top seed regained control to post his 29th consecutive grand slam victory.

"Nerves kicked in for James, obviously, but he started playing better, second part of the second set and it was very close," Djokovic said.

"It wasn't easy to break his serve."

The reigning Wimbledon and Australian, French and US Open champion is bidding to become the first man in 78 years to win five consecutive majors.

He next faces Frenchman Adrian Mannarino on Thursday for a place in the third round.

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