Novak Djokovic relishes 'unique experience' at Ryder Cup

Novak Djokovic traded his racket for a set of golf clubs Wednesday to play in the All Star Match in the buildup to the 44th Ryder Cup.

Djokovic, the world's top-ranked player who claimed a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title by winning the U.S. Open this month, was playing alongside world No. 1 golfer with disabilities Kipp Popert as part of Colin Montgomerie's team that also featured soccer star Gareth Bale.

"It's such an honor, a golden opportunity for a once in a lifetime experience," Djokovic said on the first tee surrounded by an enormous grandstand. "Thanks to all the fans for coming and putting a bit of extra pressure on us on the first tee. It's a unique experience."

With hundreds of fans in the stands and many more lining the fairway, Djokovic initially walked out to address his ball with a tennis racket, before switching to a driver.

After a couple of practice swings were greeted with cries of "oles," he sent his ball down the first fairway, puffing out his cheeks with relief and thumping his heart.

Djokovic and England's Popert were up against Spain's Formula One driver Carlos Sainz, who recently won the Singapore Grand Prix, and Italian G4D golfer Tommaso Perrino.

They won 3-1 with Djokovic's "shot of the day" coming on the par-4 16th, where he managed to drive the green from a slightly advanced tee -- earning loud cheers from the galleries.

"This is sporting greatness," Djokovic jested as his ball stopped on the green. "I was going to play safe but the crowd made me do it. It was one of the best shots I've ever hit."

There were some duff shots too, including one failed attempt to hack out of the rough, but Djokovic clearly enjoyed the change of scenery. He admitted, however, that playing golf in front of large crowds was more daunting than battling on a packed Centre Court.

"I've never played golf in front of this many people, so considering my level I think I've played quite well," Djokovic said.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.