Serena Williams made her Wimbledon and singles tennis return on Tuesday, ultimately losing 7–5 1–6, 6–7(7) to France’s Harmony Tan in three sets.
The three-hour, 10-minute long match had fans in Centre Court on their feet various times with the long points and close games, especially in the third set when the match was determined by a tiebreak. Tan will face No. 32 Sara Sorribes Tormo from Spain in round two on Thursday.
Williams walked off Centre Court as the audience gave her a standing ovation for her hard fight on Tuesday night.
Fans are left to wonder whether this was Williams’s final match at Wimbledon as she’s already been rumored to retire soon. The 40-year-old has yet to comment on the matter.
Williams kept the first set close, falling just short to Tan 7–5.
The second game of the second set brought 12 total deuces before Williams finally took the game. The game itself lasted around 20 minutes, which is longer than one of Angelique Kerber’s sets from Monday.
All those deuces didn’t slow down the 40-year-old. Williams won five games in a row in the second set before she ended up capturing her first set in a singles match in over a year with a 6–1 score.
Williams started to lose some of her mojo in the third set when she got down 4–3. The tennis legend then won her serving game and broke Tan on her serving game to lead 5–4. Tan won the next two games in a row forcing Williams to serve to stay in the match, which she did.
The match was determined by a tiebreak. Williams won the first four points, securing a dominant lead over Tan. But, Tan changed the narrative by winning the next five points. Williams struggled to take another strong lead as Tan ultimately won the tiebreak 10–7.
One year ago, Williams retired in her first round match due to an ankle injury. Then, she missed an entire year’s worth of tournaments before announcing that she would be returning to the grass Grand Slam tournament. It’s unclear when Williams will play again.
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