Serena Williams crushed by Concord Tan in late-night thriller on Centre Court docket


SERENA WILLIAMS WAS unable to summon the outdated magic as her Wimbledon return led to a first-round defeat to little-known Frenchwoman Concord Tan.

Stepping out on court docket to play singles for the primary time since leaving Centre Court docket prematurely and in tears after struggling a hamstring damage within the opening spherical 12 months in the past, Williams was rusty and error-prone.

The desire remained and, cheered on by a supportive crowd, she regarded like she may stumble over the end line after coming from a set down after which saving a match level within the twelfth sport of the decider.

Supply: Alamy Inventory Photograph

However as a substitute Williams suffered simply her third first-round loss at a grand slam, happening 7-5 1-6 7-6 (7) in a deciding tie-break at 10.35pm after three hours and 10 minutes in what might nicely be her Wimbledon farewell.

Tan, a 24-year-old debutante ranked 115, is the kind of participant Williams used to beat earlier than even stepping on court docket however nobody, together with most likely the 40-year-old herself, knew what to anticipate right here.

Williams was rusty within the excessive within the first two video games, her footwork leaden and her ball-striking wayward, however she steadily started to search out some rhythm.

The American was significantly vocal, shrieking at each winner and error, and it labored as she moved right into a 4-2 lead.

However the primary query mark was all the time going to be round Williams’ health and he or she was puffing onerous as Tan finally broke again after a protracted service sport.

The Frenchwoman couldn’t hope to match her opponent for energy however had appreciable success with deft drop photographs and lobs and seemed to be having fun with herself as she moved right into a 6-5 lead.

Williams had an opportunity to attract stage and pressure a tie-break however regarded anxious and was unable to transform as Tan moved forward.

With darkness closing in, a short pause for the roof to be closed labored in Williams’ favour. She minimize out among the errors, and the shrieking, and set about retrieving the deficit, breaking Tan within the second sport of the set after a outstanding run of 12 deuces.

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When Williams, who received the final of her seven singles titles right here in 2016, moved 3-1 forward within the deciding set, it appeared the onerous half was behind her.

However two doubles matches in Eastbourne final week had been scant preparation for a return to grand slam singles and issues turned sophisticated as soon as once more.

Williams started to point out her feelings as soon as extra, leaping to rejoice the nice moments and waving her arms in despair on the unhealthy.

She slid deeper into hassle after failing to serve out the match at 5-4 however put away a drive volley to save lots of a match level at 5-6 and pressure a deciding first-to-10-points tie-break.

Williams moved right into a 4-0 lead however, on the stage the place she has triumphed on so many events, this time there was to not be a contented ending.

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