Serena Williams Loses First-Round Wimbledon Match to Tournament Newcomer Harmony Tan

After 364 days out of singles tennis, 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams was knocked out of Wimbledon in a first-round match on Tuesday, losing a third set tie-breaker to Harmony Tan of France. The 24-year-old Tan, ranked 115, beat Williams 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (10-7) in what was only the younger woman’s ninth time playing a Grand Slam match. Williams, 40, seemed to get off on the wrong foot against Tan; of the French player’s first 11 points, according to the Associated Press, all but one came from Williams’ forced or unforced errors. “I don’t know what to say because I am so emotional but she is a superstar and for my first Wimbledon but it is just … wow,” Tan told the BBC after the match. “When I saw the draw I was really scared. It’s Serena Williams. She’s a legend and I was like: ‘Oh my God, how can I play?’” Tuesday’s matchup, which would stretch to more than three hours, was a grueling return to the singles arena for Williams, who hasn’t played alone on the court in a year after a first-round injury to her hamstring at Wimbledon 2021 forced her to retire from the tournament prematurely.

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