Wimbledon: Serena Williams stunned by Tan in three-set marathon

By Sports Desk June 28, 2022

Serena Williams' hopes of a winning a record-equalling 24th grand slam title at Wimbledon are over after she was beaten by the unheralded Harmony Tan in an epic first-round match.

Williams went down 7-5 1-6 7-6 (10-7) on Centre Court in her first singles match since being forced to withdraw in the opening round of last year's tournament at the All England Club, when she suffered a hamstring injury during a contest with Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

The seven-time Wimbledon champion's much-heralded comeback proved to be an almighty battle and it was the SW19 debutant from France who came out on top late on Tuesday evening.

It took outsider Tan three hours and 11 minutes to claim a huge scalp, winning what could prove to be the great Williams' final singles match at Wimbledon.

Tan broke three times in a back-and-forth first set, with Williams unable to keep her at bay during the seventh game despite the world number 115 seeing three break points come and go before winning the fourth.

The underdog's slice in particular proved to be difficult for the 40-year-old - 16 years senior to her opponent - to counter, and the former world number one seemed to need the break afforded by the roof closure on Centre Court to regather herself.

Williams stamped her authority on the match in the second set to force a decider, breaking twice as she surged into a 5-0 lead before serving it out.

Tan refused to be beaten in the final set, twice breaking back to frustrate Williams. 

Williams was able to force a tie-break after saving a match point, and surged into a 4-0 lead - but Tan rallied once more to seize back the momentum, and celebrated a famous win after her legendary opponent netted a forehand.

Data slam: Agony for battling Williams

Williams declared that she would not have competed at Wimbledon if she did not feel she was capable of winning the tournament, but she fell at the first hurdle in a thriller.

In what was her 420th grand slam match, the veteran played her first final-set tie-break and looked destined to come out on top before Tan roared back. Victory for Tan ensured Williams remains one major crown shy of the record held by Margaret Court.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Tan– 29/28
Williams – 61/54

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Tan – 3/3
Williams – 5/3

BREAK POINTS WON
Tan – 5/15
Williams – 6/17

Related items

  • Terzic lauds 18-year-old 'game-changer' Bynoe-Gittens after subs save Dortmund Terzic lauds 18-year-old 'game-changer' Bynoe-Gittens after subs save Dortmund

    Edin Terzic needed a record-breaking intervention from his Borussia Dortmund substitutes to achieve his own BVB first in a 3-1 win at Freiburg on Friday.

    Dortmund boss Terzic was bidding to become the first coach to win nine consecutive Bundesliga games with the club, but it was all going wrong when Michael Gregoritsch had Freiburg in front at half-time.

    And the scoreline was still 1-0 with 20 minutes to go when Youssoufa Moukoko was introduced from the bench.

    But the 17-year-old had a huge impact, first teeing up fellow teenager Jamie Bynoe-Gittens to net his first league goal before giving Dortmund the lead himself.

    Marius Wolf made sure of the points with two minutes to play, with all three scorers coming on as substitutes – a Bundesliga first for Dortmund.

    BVB sold Erling Haaland to Manchester City ahead of this season but clearly have no shortage of young goalscorers, with Bynoe-Gittens picked out by Terzic for special praise.

    "It's basically very simple for him: he has the skills to decide games," Terzic told DAZN.

    "He's a game-changer – and I wanted to see that from him. And not that he just plays the game, but that he makes the difference. He did that."

    Bynoe-Gittens only turned 18 on Monday, with team-mate Jude Bellingham (17 years, 285 days) the sole English player to score in the Bundesliga at a younger age.

    Explaining his 64th-minute introduction in a news conference, Terzic added: "We simply opted for the quality of Jamie.

    "In the first half, we had a few spaces between the lines where we stuck in the last line for too long.

    "But Jamie is someone who can step in and turn up the heat with his first contact – and above all, he can speed up the game again. That's how we imagined it.

    "He animated the game very well and was involved in a lot of good offensive moves."

    Moukoko also earned plenty of plaudits, with two goal involvements in a single Bundesliga game for the first time. He only contributed two in the whole of last season.

    "He's a huge talent," said new signing Anthony Modeste. "I think I can help him. I like to give him tips."

    Moukoko added: "We fought for the coach, for the fans and for us. In the end, you saw the emotions.

    "We didn't start the game well, and after Freiburg were 1-0 up, it got even more difficult. We needed luck today.

    "After Jamie made it 1-1, we were fully in the game. I always felt like we could turn the game around."

  • Halep's 'fire back' as she topples Gauff to reach Canadian Open semi-finals, Haddad Maia extends run Halep's 'fire back' as she topples Gauff to reach Canadian Open semi-finals, Haddad Maia extends run

    Two-time major winner Simona Halep continues to find form ahead of the upcoming US Open with a 6-4 7-6 (7-2) victory over Coco Gauff clinching her spot in the Canadian Open semi-finals.

    Halep defeated 10th seed Gauff, who had beaten Naomi Osaka, Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka this week, in one hour and 47 minutes.

    The Romanian 15th seed was broken five times and sent down eight double faults, but found the edge with speed, finesse and power.

    The win means Halep has won the third most matches (36-10) on the WTA Tour this season, behind only top-ranked Iga Swiatek (49) and Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeir (37).

    Halep's improved form comes after she teamed up with Serena Williams' ex-coach Patrick Mouratoglou in April following a difficult 2021 season.

    "Before I met him I was super down with my motivation," Halep told reporters. "I couldn't really work, keep working. I was almost done with tennis. He brought this fire back and the motivation. He trusted that I still can play good tennis and he transferred this to me."

    The 2018 French Open and 2019 Wimbledon champion added: "Physically I'm good. Mentally I'm good, so I think it's all positive."

    Halep, who won the Canadian Open in 2018, has reached the semi-finals for the fifth time in her career where she will take on seventh seed Jessica Pegula.

    Pegula got past Yulia Putintseva 6-3 6-3 in one hour and 21 minutes. Qualifying for the last four at the Canadian Open for the second straight year.

    Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia maintained her Canadian Open run, having ousted Swiatek in the third round and local favourite Leylah Fernandez in the second, with a 2-6 6-3 6-3 victory over Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Belinda Bencic in two hours and 11 minutes.

    Haddad Maia became the first Brazilian to reach the semi-finals of a WTA 1000 tournament. She will face Karolina Pliskova in the semi-finals after the Czech 14th seed beat Qinwen Zheng 4-6 6-4 6-4.

  • Retiring Serena Williams drawn to face Raducanu in Cincinnati Masters first round blockbuster Retiring Serena Williams drawn to face Raducanu in Cincinnati Masters first round blockbuster

    Serena Williams has been drawn to face reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu in a blockbuster first-round match-up at next week's Cincinnati Masters.

    Williams, who earlier this week declared her intention to retire after the upcoming US Open, will open her tournament on Monday evening against the 19-year-old Briton who is currently ranked 10th in the world.

    The 23-time Grand Slam champion recorded her first singles win in more than a year at this week's Canadian Open, defeating Nuria Parrizas-Diaz on Monday, before losing in the second round to Belinda Bencic.

    In between the matches, Williams had signaled her retirement plans in an article in Vogue magazine.

    The first-round clash is one of several intriguing matches including 14th seed Karolina Pliskova meeting Venus Williams, two-time major winner Victoria Azarenka facing Estonian veteran Kaia Kanepi.

    In-form Simona Halep is drawn against 2021 Australian Open semi-finalist Karolina Muchova, while four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka will face Zhang Shuai.

    In the men's singles draw, 12th seed Matteo Berrettini will face Frances Tiafoe straight up, while Nick Kyrgios is scheduled to take on Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.