Serena stunned by Tan in first-round epic

LONDON – Seven-time champion Serena Williams suffered a second straight Wimbledon first-round exit as she was stunned by French debutant Harmony Tan in a late-night Centre Court epic.
A year after the American retired injured from what many feared would be her last Wimbledon match, her return had been eagerly anticipated but 115th-ranked Tan ripped up the script with a nerve-shredding 7-5 1-6 7-6(7) win. Tan had one match point snatched away when the 40-year-old Williams served at 5-6 in a rollercoaster deciding set.
A weary Williams then appeared close to victory as she built a 4-0 lead in the ‘super tiebreak’. But Tan was not done and sticking to the slice and slow ball shots that had flummoxed Williams throughout an absorbing duel, she clawed her way into a 9-7 lead before sealing victory as Williams netted a forehand. Williams went through every emotion in three hours and 11 minutes of drama and put her fans through the wringer too. But in the end, a lack of match sharpness proved too much as another quest for a 24th Grand Slam title hit the buffers and the question is will she ever get another chance.
Tan could hardly believe what she had done after clinching by far the biggest victory of her modest career. “I’m so emotional now. Serena is a superstar and when I was young I was watching her so many times on the TV,” the 24-year-old said on court. “For my first Wimbledon, it’s wow. Just wow. “When I saw the draw I was really scared. Because it’s Serena Williams, she’s a legend. I thought if I could win one or two games it was really good for me.”
Meanwhile, two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza lost in the second round of Wimbledon to Greet Minnen of Belgium 6-4, 6-0. The seeded ninth made 33 unforced errors and hit only nine winners on No. 2 Court. Also in the second round, eighth-seeded Jessica Pegula of the United States beat Croatian player Donna Vekic 6-3, 7-6 (2). Twelfth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko defeated Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-2, 6-2.
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic advanced to the third round at Wimbledon with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia. The six-time Wimbledon champion has won the past three men’s singles titles at the All England Club. The 26-year-old Kokkinakis is ranked 79th. French Open runner-up Casper Ruud lost in the second round at Wimbledon. The third-seeded Norwegian was beaten by Ugo Humbert of France 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 on No. 2 Court.

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