It is probably the best victory of his career. On the central court of Wimbledon, this June 28, Harmony Tan (115e world player) beat seven-time British Grand Slam winner Serena Williams (7-5, 1-6, 7-6 [10-7]). The 40-year-old was making her return to competition after a year’s absence; she had fallen back to the 1,204e singles world spot. In 80 Grand Slam tournaments, this is only the third time Serena Williams has lost in the first round.
The Frenchwoman, comfortable on the grass, relied on a defensive game, based on regularity. She conceded only 28 unforced errors, against 54 for her opponent of the day. Another quality demonstrated by the 24-year-old Parisian: her ability to cover a large part of the ground. She covered 8,568 meters during this meeting, against 7,373 meters for Serena Williams. A superior, precious physical dimension for this 3:11 marathon. In the next round, the Tennis Club Boulogne-Billancourt licensee will face the Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo, 45e world player, faller of Christina McHale (6-2, 6-1).
“I’m so moved I can’t find the words… She’s a superstar, I’ve watched her so many times on TV that for my first Wimbledon, it’s… wow! »commented Tan. “When I saw the draw, I was very scared. It’s Serena Williams, a legend, I was wondering how to play against her and I thought if I already won one or two games, it would be great.added Harmony Tan, whose coach, Nathalie Tauziat, now 54, faced Serena Williams on the circuit.
Serena Williams running out of pace
In 2021, she left Center Court during the match, victim of a thigh injury. Tuesday, back on this same court, Serena Williams went after a disjointed match, at the end of which she bowed.
Sometimes borrowed, not always well placed, even a little lost on the court, not knowing whether to move forward or back, not always sure of herself or her shots, she was unable to impose over the length of the match his powerful and intimidating game which made his strength. She did scream loudly in an attempt to relieve the obviously enormous pressure on her shoulders, but there was too much waste in her game.
So she sometimes resorted to attempts at intimidation, with particularly theatrical demonstrations on a few key points, such as the one that gave her the break and the opportunity to serve for the match in the third set. But in vain. At nearly 41, this was perhaps Serena Williams’ last singles appearance at Wimbledon. However, at a press conference, she announced that she was “motivated” to play the US Open, which will be held in New York from August 29 to September 11.