Wow, that match was quite the emotional roller coaster.
After weeks of hype and anticipation, the G.O.A.T. Serena Williams is back competing at a Grand Slam tournament. The tennis legend’s 2022 Wimbledon run came to a quick end after being defeated 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 by Harmony Tan of France.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion received a wild-card entry into the grass court tournament, setting up her first singles competition since injuring herself in the first round of last year’s Championships.
Serena took a few games to get going, but once she did, she moved around the court well. After going up 4-2, a loose service game allowed Tan to break and put the set back on serve. To her credit, Tan did not seem at all intimidated by playing a bonafide legend on Center Court. She kept her cool and played a very solid game, forcing Serena to cover the entire court. Her calm demeanor paid off, as Tan weathered the emotional storm of Williams’ attempted comeback and took the first set 7-5.
Between sets the roof was closed, which tends to slow play down. This really helped Serena get her serve back on track. She started the second set with a strong service game, then broke Tan’s serve in an epic 19 minute game, where neither woman seemed to be able to close it out. That marathon was the turning point of the set. From there, the seven-time Wimbledon champion rolled to a 6-1 win, taking things to a deciding third set.
Serena picked up her game at the beginning of the third set, jumping out to a 3-1 lead, but a few too many unforced errors let Tan back in the set, however, Williams was able to rally like a champion and hold serve at 4-4. After an up and down four game stretch that saw Serena get broken while serving for the match, they headed into a final set tiebreak.
Once again, Williams jumped out to an early lead, but Tan steadied herself, came back and was able to outlast the G.O.A.T., winning the tiebreak 10-7. In the end, Tan won the match 7-5, 1-6, 7-6.
Obviously, this was not the result Serena and her fans wanted, but the legend has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. While she may lament the missed opportunities that could have won her this match, she definitely showed that she still has plenty left in the tank. With more matches under her belt, a healthy, rested Serena could be a problem if she decides to play the U.S. Open in September.