Serena Williams begins — and ends — her comeback at Wimbledon after 364 days out of the singles competition looks a lot like someone who hasn’t competed that long. He missed the shot, shook his head, rolled his eyes.
In between, there were times where Williams played a lot like someone whose shot would take her to 23 Grand Slam titles. He hits serve and punches, celebrated with a high hand.
Returning to the site of his final singles bout, which he had to stop after less than a set due to injury on June 29, 2021, and seven of his major championships, 40-year-old Williams is just two points adrift of victory. . But he couldn’t finish the task against an opponent who made his Wimbledon debut and crashed out 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (10-7) to 115th-ranked Harmony Tan of France.
With her older sister Venus jumping out of her visitors’ box seat on Center Court to celebrate the best point, Serena Williams came close to ending a match that lasted 3 hours, 10 minutes and was up for grabs. with a roof that can be opened and closed for the last two sets.
It’s one indication of how things started: Of the 24-year-old Tan’s first 11 points, only one came through the winner he produced. Others came through fault by Williams, either forced or unforced.
Meanwhile, Williams — who wore two pieces of black tape on his right cheek; the reason wasn’t immediately clear—recovering from losing the opening two games to lead 4-2, he reversed course again and allowed Tan to quickly climb back into the set.
When Tan equalized to 4-all by hitting a backhand winner at the bottom line, he celebrated with a shout; the shot was so good that even Williams felt compelled to applaud.
Tan came into the day with a career record of 2-6 across all Grand Slam tournaments. Clearly enjoying himself — and the setup, the moment, the way it all went — he broke serve to lead 6-5 with the help of a cross-court forehand winner, looked into his visitors box, raised his fist and waved his hand to call for more votes from the loud crowd. support Williams.
Shortly after, a forehand winner gave Tan the set. At the time, it seemed reasonable to ask: Can Tan achieve the biggest win of his career? Could Williams be knocked out of a major tournament in the first round for just the third time in 80 appearances (the previous two were defeats at the 2012 French Open and retiring mid-match at Wimbledon last year)?
In the end, the latter was what happened.
Williams was two points away from progress on serve for the match at 5-4 in the third set but couldn’t get close.
Tan took a point from the win at 6-5, but Williams wiped it out with a forehand — starting the seven points that not only put the match in a tiebreak but also put him 4-0 up.
But Tan will not go gently. He took five straight points to lead 5-4 in the new final-set tiebreak format adopted this year by all four tennis majors: first on 10 points, won by two.
At a crucial moment, when Williams so often excelled on so many big stages, he faltered. Tan comes.
Reported by Associated Press
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Wimbledon: Serena Williams loses first game in a year
Source link Wimbledon: Serena Williams loses first game in a year