The 24-year-old Frenchwoman makes her first appearance in a Slam main draw
London, England) – A year after suffering a right leg injury in her Wimbledon debut, Serena Williams returned to play in the professional singles circuit. And for the second time in a row, the seven-time champion didn’t make it past the first round. This time, Serena stayed for 3h11 against the French Harmony Tan, 115th in the ranking, who won a very tough game with partials of 7/5, 1/6 and 7/6 (10-7).
This is a very rare first-round Grand Slam elimination for Serena Williams. In addition to two straight crashes at Wimbledon, she has one loss on her Roland Garros debut in 2012. The 40-year veteran and former world number one has 23 Grand Slam titles in 80 total appearances. At Wimbledon, she made her 21st appearance.
Harmony Tan, 24, competes in the Wimbledon main draw for the first time in his career and plays in his seventh Slam. This is only the third time she has reached round three. The Frenchwoman, who has the best career ranking, 90th place. She is coached by former world number 3 Nathalie Tauziat. His next rival is Spanish Sara Sorribes, who scored 6/2 and 6/1 against American Christina McHale.
“I’m so emotional, I watched it so many times on TV when I was a kid. And to do that at my first Wimbledon… Wow!” Tan said in her on-court interview. “When I saw the key, I was really scared because it’s Serena Williams! She’s a legend! I was wondering how I was going to play and if I won a game or two it would be really good for me. Thank you to everyone who came today. , to my team, and to my coach Natalie Tauziat, who has already played against Serena. I am very happy that she is by my side”.
“She’s beaten a legend.”
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 28, 2022
French bet on height and ball weight variations, in addition to defending well
Serena’s evident lack of rhythm appeared in the first two games of the match, in which she had difficulty putting the ball on the court and was making many unforced errors. The former number 1 lost by 2/0, but over time she managed to impose herself better with the serve and, mainly, with the returns and lived her best moment in the match by winning four games in a row.
It was Tan’s turn to bet on game variations, using slices with forehand and backhand, in addition to some shorts. By alternating heights and ball weights all the time, the Frenchwoman did her best to move Serena from the back of the court and thus managed to regain the advantage, scoring two new breaks and turning the first set.
After a stoppage in the match to close the ceiling of the Center Court, Serena knew how to take advantage of the faster game conditions, especially due to the power of her serve and returns. She got a break early in the second set, in a 20-minute game with eight break-points, and then escaped some break chances to open 3/0. The seven-time champion even led the score by 5/0 before Tan confirmed the serve again.
HANG IT IN LOUVRE pic.twitter.com/8PHVWx0qEo
— Marty (@Svitoflopina) June 28, 2022
The third set started better for Serena, who was the first to break and opened 3/1 on the scoreboard, but Tan managed to react in the match, again betting on game variations and showing a lot of defensive consistency. The American tried to attack the Frenchwoman’s second most vulnerable serve and was successful to break and serve again for the game, but she made a very bad service game in the sequence and gave the tie by 5/5. Serena had to save a match-point on her serve, at which point Tan was too passive, and forced the tiebreak.
Serena even opened 4-0 in the tiebreaker, but could not sustain the lead on the scoreboard. She lost five straight points and allowed the French turn. The former number 1 came to win three more points in her serve, but she would no longer be able to threaten the serve of the rival, who won five of the last six points to close the match.
Serena led the winners statistic by 61 to 29, but made 54 unforced errors against 28. The American made it 5 to 3 in aces and each player made three double faults. The game had 11 service breaks, 6-5 for Serena, who created 17 break-points and faced another 15. The winner of 23 Grand Slam titles left the court to a standing ovation.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 28, 2022