Serena Williams made her highly anticipated return to singles tennis at Wimbledon on Tuesday, but her first-round match ended in a defeat.
France’s Harmony Tan earned a 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (10-7) victory over Williams at the All England Club. The match came almost a year to the day of Williams’ last Wimbledon match, which was cut short when she tore her hamstring.
Williams, a seven-time Wimbledon champion, came within one game beating Tan. After going down 3-4 in the third set, she won the next two games. Williams got to serve for the match, but Tan got the break point to even the set at 5-5.
Tan won the next point on her serve and got Williams down to match point in the following game. Williams countered and even fended off a matchup point to force a third-set tiebreaker.
Williams came out swinging in the first-to-10 tiebreaker, taking a 4-0 lead. Tan bounced back big time, ending the match on a 10-3 run to eliminate Williams and earn a marathon victory that lasted over three hours.
Following the match, the Centre Court crowd gave Williams a standing ovation:
Tan, who made her Wimbledon debut against Williams, advances to face Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo in the second round.