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LONDON (Reuters) – Top seed Novak Djokovic said he would be happy if Wimbledon scrapped its tradition of having the men’s defending champion always open proceedings on Centre Court on day one of the tournament.

The 34-year-old Serb had to wait two years for the privilege this time after last year’s event was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

He made up for lost time as he began his quest for a sixth Wimbledon title by beating British teenager Jack Draper 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2 on Monday under the closed Centre Court roof.

Asked if it was about time the opening day slot on a court he describes as sacred for the sport should alternately go to the women’s champion, Djokovic was inclined to agree.

“Why not? I’m not in the committee of Wimbledon, so I don’t make those decisions. My opinion, of course, in terms of decisions-making process doesn’t matter much,” the world number one told reporters.

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

It is rather a moot point this year as Simona Halep, who won the title by beating Serena Williams in 2019, has withdrawn because of injury.

The Romanian would have opened play on Centre Court on Tuesday which is traditionally known as Ladies Day.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)