Serena Williams’ major comeback at Wimbledon 2022 ended quickly.
The 40-year-old tennis legend, who played her first singles in a year, was upset in her first round match against Harmony Tan, 5-7, 6-1, 6-7 (7-10), ever. England club on tuesday.
Williams broke Tan to lead 5-4 in the third set but Tan broke the next game and then continued serving, but Williams held on to a 6-6 set tie. Williams led 4-0 in the third set tiebreak before losing.
“It’s definitely better than last year,” Williams said. “This is a start.”
It was the first time Williams had played a singles match since she withdrew from her first round match at Wimbledon last year due to injury. Last week, Williams played doubles matches with Anas Jaber at Eastbourne International Stadium.
Williams declined to say if this was her trip to sunset.
“That’s a question I can’t answer,” she said. “I don’t know. … Who do you know? Who knows where I will appear?”
Tan, who will have her next Test against Spain’s 32nd seed Sara Sorribes Tormo on Thursday, enjoyed the experience of playing someone she saw on TV growing up.
“In my first Wimbledon, it’s: cool. When I saw the draw, I was really scared, because it’s Serena Williams,” said the 24-year-old. It is a legend. I was like, “Oh my God, how can I play?”
She persevered during the 3 hour 11 minute match, in which she only produced one point out of her first 11 points on her own. Tan began asserting herself with a mix of twists and slides, fending off a valiant effort from Williams, who admitted there was a lot of rust in her game.
“If you’re playing a week indoors, or outdoors, or even every three weeks, or every four weeks, there’s more match power,” Williams said. “But with that being said, I felt like I played well with some players. Not all of them. I could have probably played better in some of the major games. You must think if I was playing matches, I wouldn’t miss some of those points.”