Third seed Carlos Alcaraz faced an initial challenge in his Wimbledon title defense but managed to overcome Estonian qualifier Mark Lajal 7-6(3) 7-5 6-2, advancing to the second round on Monday. The 21-year-old, aiming to secure his fourth Grand Slam title following his recent French Open victory, initially lost his serve in a high-quality opening set before recovering to win it in a tiebreak. Lajal broke Alcaraz again early in the next set, but the world number 269 couldn't capitalize on his advantage as Alcaraz immediately broke back and then took the lead in the 11th game. With the momentum firmly in his favor, Alcaraz continued to dominate, securing a two-set lead and further enhancing his performance in the third set with a remarkable backhand crosscourt winner. He maintained his lead to seal the victory.

"He played a good match, obviously surprised me a little bit because I didn't have the chance to see him play a lot. He has a great level, he's really young, my age," Alcaraz commented. "I'm sure I will play against him even more on the tour and I'm really happy to get my first win on Centre Court this year." Alcaraz admitted to still feeling nervous at the venue where he defeated Novak Djokovic in the final 12 months ago. "Stepping on this court, it's the most beautiful court I've played on. I still get nerves when I'm playing here," he added. "I played for 45 minutes here on Thursday and it's the first time I get nervous practising. I'm glad and I'm a privileged guy to play on this court." ... "This is a new year, a different tournament, I have to be focused on my game. When I walk around, I get goosebumps. I remember last year and that was a great feeling."

Fifth seed Daniil Medvedev confidently advanced to the Wimbledon second round on Monday with a dominant 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over American Aleksandar Kovacevic on his preferred Court One. The 28-year-old Russian, who was defeated in the semifinals last year by eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz, swiftly overcame the 88th-ranked New Yorker in one hour 46 minutes, with Kovacevic unable to handle Medvedev's powerful serve and forehand. Meanwhile, third seed Aryna Sabalenka and 16th seed Victoria Azarenka withdrew from Wimbledon shortly before their opening matches due to shoulder injuries, reducing the women's draw of Grand Slam champions. Sabalenka, who was scheduled to play against American Emina Bektas, was replaced by Russian Erika Andreeva, while Frenchwoman Elsa Jacquemot took the place of fellow Belarusian Azarenka.

"I tried everything to get myself ready but unfortunately my shoulder is not cooperating," Sabalenka said on Instagram. "I pushed myself to the limit in practice today to try my best, but my team explained that playing would only make things much worse," she added. "This tournament means so much to me and I promise I'll be back stronger than ever next year." Sabalenka, who had a lower back injury this year and faced illness during her quarter-final loss at the French Open to 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva, sustained the shoulder issue during last month's Berlin Open.