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Harmony Tan eliminates Serena Williams in Wimbledon first round

The 24-year-old Frenchwoman was playing in the first Wimbledon match of her career.

Tennis: Wimbledon
Harmony Tan of France celebrates winning her first round match against Serena Williams of the USA on day two of Wimbledon on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London.
Susan Mullane/USA TODAY Sports
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Harmony Tan pulled the plug on the Serena Williams Wimbledon show in the first round with a stunning 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (7) victory over the 23-time Grand Slam Champion on Tuesday at the All England Club in London.

Tan, ranked 115th in the world, played a more complete match than Williams and was stronger in the tiebreaker, scoring 10 of the final 13 points to finish the biggest victory of her career.

The 24-year-old Frenchwoman was playing in the first Wimbledon match of her career. She was more fit than the 40-year-old Williams, who occasionally struggled physically in the marathon match of three hours and 11 minutes.

"When I saw the draw, I was really scared," Tan said afterward. "It's Serena Williams. She's a legend. I was like, ‘Oh my god, how can I play?' And if I can win one game or two games, it's really good for me."

Williams hit 61 winners but committed 54 unforced errors while playing in her first singles match in 364 days. Her last one also was at Wimbledon when she had to retire against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus after injuring a hamstring.

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"It was definitely a very long battle and fight," Williams said in her post-match press conference. "I feel like in just those key points, winning some of those points, is always something mentally that you have to have, that you kind of need. I did pretty good on maybe one or two of ‘em, but obviously not enough."

Williams' most recent Grand Slam title came in the 2017 Australian Open when she defeated her sister, Venus. Margaret Court holds the record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

Williams staved off a match point in the third set and won the first four points of the tiebreaker before Tan dominated the final stretch.

"Maybe a week ago I could have gave more, but today was what I could do," Williams said. "At some point you have to be able to be OK with that."

Tan had 29 winners and 28 unforced errors.

"It's amazing for my first Wimbledon, it's just amazing," Tan said.

Tan will next face 32nd-seeded Sara Sorribes Tormo. The Spaniard sailed to a 6-2, 6-1 win over qualifier Christina McHale on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, top-seeded Iga Swiatek of Poland ran her winning streak to 36 consecutive matches with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Croatian qualifier Jana Fett.

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Swiatek's winning streak is the longest on the WTA tour since Martina Hingis won 37 straight matches in 1997.

"It's my first match on grass this season, so I knew it's going to be tricky," Swiatek said afterward. "I'm just figuring out how to play here and trying to implement all the stuff that we were practicing on."

No. 11 seed Coco Gauff, who lost to Swiatek in the French Open final earlier this month, also started off with a victory. Gauff started slow before beating Elena-Gabriela Ruse of Romania 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Tennis: Wimbledon
Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot during his first round match against Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina on day two of Wimbledon on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London.
Susan Mullane / USA Today Sports

Nadal wins in four

Second-seeded Rafael Nadal began pursuit of his third career Wimbledon title by posting a 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina in a first-round match on Tuesday at the All England Club in London.

It was the first match for the 22-time Grand Slam winner since he won the French Open title on June 5. The Spaniard was dealing with major foot pain throughout the French Open.

"Every day is a test and today has been one of these important tests," Nadal said after his win on Tuesday. "I know at the beginning of the tournament especially, under the difficult circumstances that I arrived here, the victory is the most important thing because that gives me the chance to practice tomorrow again and to have another match in two days."

Nadal wasn't sharp, as he committed 41 unforced errors compared to 23 winners. Cerundolo had 30 winners and 46 unforced errors.

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Nadal will next face Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis, who notched a 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Sam Querrey.

Meanwhile, fourth-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas moved on with a 7-6 (1), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win over Swiss qualifier Alexander Ritschard.

No. 11 seed Taylor Fritz swept Italy's Lorenzo Musetti 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, No. 12 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina posted a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Stefan Kozlov and No. 13 Denis Shapovalov of Canada outlasted Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 6-1, 6-7 (6), 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-1.

Reilly Opelka, seeded 15th, was a 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4 winner over Spain's Carlos Taberner. No. 17 Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain produced a 6-1, 6-0, 6-3 victory over Hungary's Attila Balazs, while Steve Johnson advanced when No. 18 Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria retired in the second set with a leg injury.

Also, Australian Nick Kyrgios defeated British wild card Paul Jubb 3-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-7 (3), 7-5 but spat in the direction of a fan after the triumph.

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