Serena Williams’ return to Wimbledon ends with dramatic defeat towards Concord Tan

Williams, watched on by her household within the stands, misplaced a decent first set earlier than leveling the match within the second on Centre Courtroom, the positioning of seven of her 23 grand slam singles titles.

She was a break up within the third, however Tan confirmed her resilience by preventing again to take an exciting last set in a nail-biting tie break.

Requested if it was the ultimate Wimbledon match of her adorned profession, Williams mentioned that was a query she “cannot reply.”

“Who is aware of the place I will pop up?” she added.

Williams played her first competitive matches for near a 12 months at Eastbourne final week, partnering with Ons Jabeur within the doubles occasion. The pair reached the semifinals, however needed to withdraw after Jabeur sustained a knee damage.

On Tuesday, she made her long-awaited return to singles, one 12 months on from retiring in her final first-round match at Wimbledon.

Momentum shifted between the 2 gamers over the course of the three-hour, 11-minute encounter — first in Tan’s favor as she edged the primary set, then in the direction of Williams as she rallied within the second.

It regarded as if the 40-year-old Williams would prevail within the deciding set as she served for the win, however the memorable return wasn’t to be.

Tan broke again at 5-5, and regardless of failing to transform a match level at 6-5, made no mistake when she had a second probability within the tie break.

Ranked No. 115 on the earth, Tan was enjoying in her first match in the principle draw of Wimbledon and ninth throughout all grand slams.

“Once I noticed the draw, I used to be actually scared,” she mentioned after the match. “It is Serena Williams — she’s a legend. I used to be like, ‘Oh my god, how can I play?’ And if I can win one sport or two video games, it is actually good for me.”

Below the lights of Centre Courtroom, Tan comfortably did greater than that — triumphing towards one of many best athletes sport has ever seen.

“For my first Wimbledon — it is wow. Simply wow,” she added, struggling to search out the phrases to seize her feelings.

It stays unclear whether or not this was Williams’ last outing at Wimbledon. Requested to sum up her legacy on the event, she was succinct, if understated.

“I feel I am fairly stable on the grass,” she mentioned. “Possibly not at present, however fairly stable on the market.”

Nadal, Swiatek advance

In Tuesday’s earlier video games on Centre Courtroom, there have been victories for this 12 months’s French Open champions Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek.

Nadal, a two-time winner at Wimbledon, survived a scare to beat Francisco Cerundolo 6-Four 6-Three Three-6 6-Four as he begun his pursuit of a 23rd grand slam title, whereas Swiatek recorded her 36th consecutive win by beating Jana Fett 6-Zero 6-Three.

Nadal, who missed final 12 months’s event because of damage, obtained a heat reception on Centre Courtroom, the place he was sternly examined by Argentina’s Cerundolo.

Nadal reaches for a return against Cerundolo.

The Spaniard regarded on track for a routine win when he was 2-Zero and a break up within the third set, however the free-swinging Cerundolo fought again with a double break to take the set.

The match seemed to be heading for a decider when the world No. 41 broke within the fourth, just for Nadal to save lots of his greatest till final and seal the win with a double break.

Swiatek, in the meantime, dominated the primary set towards Fett in her first match because the French Open, however needed to overcome a troublesome interval within the second when Fett got here near securing a double break.

The highest seed recovered from the shaky begin to the set and rattled off 5 video games in a row, rising her profitable run to 36 matches.

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