Serena Williams Suffers Early Exit Form Wimbledon In Loss To #115 Ranked Harmony Tan
In her first match in about a year, Serena Williams suffered a surprising defeat at the hands of #115 ranked Harmony Tan. In the first round of Wimbledon on Tuesday. The match featured a 10-point third-set tiebreak to end the stalemate.
Williams took the court for the first time since Wimbledon 2021 when a torn hamstring forced her to retire in a first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich. This was her 21st time playing at Wimbledon, a competition where she had made the final 11 times and won seven. Williams got off to a slow start, losing the first set 7-5, taking the second set 6-1, and reaching a ten-point tie break on the third and final set. After the match, Williams told reporters she gave all she could in the loss. “Today I gave all I could do, you know, today,” she said. “Maybe tomorrow I could have gave more. Maybe a week ago I could have gave more. But today was what I could do. At some point, you have to be able to be ok with that. And that’s all I can do. I can’t change time or anything, so, that’s all I could do on this particular day.”
This was Tan’s main draw debut at Wimbledon, and she stunned one of the best tennis players in history. “It’s a dream because, you know, I saw Serena on the TV when I was young. My coach, Nathalie Tauziat, played her 20 years ago,” Tan said. “She’s a legend. I mean, she won 23 Grand Slams. When you play her, I was scared. I mean, I was scared when I was on the court but really happy to be there.”
Tan however drew controversy after withdrawing from her double match with a thigh injury. Her partner Tamara Korpatsch wrote on social media that she was disappointed due to her late drop. “She just texted me this morning,” she said. “Let me wait here [one] hour before the match start. I’m very sad, disappointed and also very angry that I can’t play my 1st Doubles Grand Slam. It’s really not fair for me.”
As for Williams, many are speculating that she may be headed towards the end of her career. The 40-year-old has won 23 Grand Slams, the most of any player in the Open Era, but is still chasing Margaret Court’s record of 24. Since returning from childbirth in 2018, Williams has played in 14 majors, reaching the finals four of those times, and falling short in each one.
The next major, the U.S. Open, is slated for later this summer and Williams has not ruled out the idea of playing. “When you’re at home, especially in New York, and the U.S. Open, that being the first place I’ve won a Grand Slam, is something that’s always super special,” she said. “There’s definitely, you know, lots of motivation to get better and to play at home.”
— ESPN (@espn) June 28, 2022