Wimbledon 2022: Valiant Serena Williams crashes out in 1st round after 3-hour battle against Harmony Tan

Serena Williams made her way out of the center court with a smile on her face despite losing on her Wimbledon comeback to World No. 115 Harmony Tan of France. The 23-time Grand Slam champion and a 7-time winner at The Championships knew she had given it her all in a valiant battle that lasted a staggering 3 hours and 10 minutes on Tuesday, June 28.

It was not the ideal comeback for Serena Williams, who had to retire during her first-round match at Wimbledon last year due to an injury. She went down fighting against Harmony Tan 5-7, 6-1, 6-7 (7) but she brought joy to the millions of her fans who had tuned in to watch her in whites again.

The 40-year-old kept fighting despite slowly but steadily running out of fuel. After losing the opening set, Serena bounced back and decimated Harmony in style in the second set. She saved a match point in the decider and forced a tie-breaker. She was up 4-0 in the tie-breaker only to lose steam in the end.

Nonetheless, it was a brilliant night for Harmony Tan, who was making her Wimbledon debut. It was only the 4th grass-court tournament in her career as she brought down Serena, who was featuring in her 21st Wimbledon.

“After seeing the draw, I was very, very scared. I was just hoping to win one or two games (against Serena),” Harmony Tan said, taking in the applause from the center court that lauded her courage and grit.

Serena, who had played after that heartbreaking exit at last year’s Wimbledon, returned to competitive action when she paired up with Ons Jabeur for women’s doubles at Eastbourne International. There was plenty of expectations from the American legend after she showed glimpses of her vintage self in the WTA 500 tournament earlier this month.

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However, Serena’s wait to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam extends as she went down in 3 sets in one of the most dramatic women’s singles encounters at The Championships.

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