Serena Williams Falls to Tan
Serena Williams’ greatly anticipated return to the All England Club and singles tennis fell spectacularly short of expectations, following a stirring defeat in the first round Tuesday at Wimbledon.
France’s Harmony Tan clinched the victory in a three-set marathon, 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (7), and with it, the 24-year-old scuppered Williams’ bid to win an eighth Wimbledon title, and a 24th overall grand slam title that would rival Margaret Court in the history books.
Harmony Tan advances to the second round at #Wimbledon after defeating Serena Williams in a three-set thriller‼️ pic.twitter.com/tb9CB96k4T
— ESPN (@espn) June 28, 2022
Williams, 40, was playing for the first time since last year’s Wimbledon, where she was forced to retire from her first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich after tearing her hamstring. Although Serena’s untimely exit wasn’t the result of an injury this time, it nevertheless raises many questions about her future and her viability to win another major title.
Will Serena Williams Win No. 24?
Serena’s Last Grand Slam Win
Williams won her seventh Australian Open and 23rd overall Grand Slam title in 2017, beating big sister Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4 in the final. She was 35 years, 4 months, and 2 days old when she claimed the title. She was also approximately 8 weeks pregnant at the time of her record-breaking triumph.
Since giving birth in 2017, Serena has made four Grand Slam final appearances between 2018 and 2019. Twice she was a finalist at Wimbledon and twice at the US Open during that two-year span.
All four of those occasions to surpass Court’s all-time record went begging, however. Serena lost all four finals and, rather uncharacteristically, without winning a set. Looking back, those losses can be regarded as a harbinger of a new era – though nobody knew it for certain at the time.
The End of an Era? Or Not?
Grand slam tennis betting markets can be an echo chamber where the same questions resonate as the surface and locations change, but the main protagonists don’t.
This has been true for both the men’s and women’s games, respectively. On the men’s side, though, the domination is spread between three players. The so-called Big Three: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic who’ve between them a haul of 62 grand slam titles over the last two decades.
Whereas the women’s game has been largely dominated by Serena Williams since her maiden grand slam victory at the 1999 US Open. (Just to put it into perspective, Tan was a 2-year-old toddler when Williams hoisted her first major triumph.)
Nobody on the WTA Tour has come close to touching Williams. There have been multiple champions, but their individual tally is a mere drop in the bucket in comparison.
Serena’s 23 Grand Slam titles is an Open Era record in the men’s and women’s games. The next winningest champion is Rafael Nadal with 22 titles, followed by Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer (both at 20 apiece).
There’s no doubt about Williams’ talent, skill, or quality. Even in her loss to Tan, she fought valiantly. She had her chances, too. When one considers the fact that she hadn’t played a competitive singles match in over a year, she was bloody impressive. To access the betting options for the WTA Linz match between J. Niemeier and S. Kenin.
Small consolation that might be, however.
Point is, Serena is the indisputable GOAT of women’s tennis in the Open Era Sure, there’s a caveat: time waits for no man (or woman in this case). Some things in life are inevitable and beyond our control, such as aging. Williams turns 41 in September.
But an aging star whose heart is still in the game and is hungry and motivated to win is someone that can’t be counted out of contention. The passion, fight, and spirit of Serena are something to behold. She makes the players around her better. She makes the game better.
It will be a truly sad day when Serena does finally hang her racquet up and call time on her career. So, until that day comes, enjoy it while you can. Relish the moments when she takes to the court. And you never know, she may well write herself into the history books yet.
The next Grand Slam on the WTA Calendar is the 2022 US Open. Serena Williams is priced at +1800 at BetUS to win the title. What would be her seventh US Open title and, drumroll, 24th grand slam title.