Serena Williams lost 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 in the three-set match she played against Harmony Tan as she returned to Wimbledon after a year out due to injury.
It was a close match on Centre Court between Williams and Tan, but Tan managed a victory over Williams.
The 23-time major winner, who has been playing professionally for 27 years, was asked if she would be back at Wimbledon, she said: “That’s a question I can’t answer. I don’t know. Who knows? Who knows where I’ll pop up.” Yet despite her uncertainty, Williams stated that this defeat has motivated her to return home and improve for the US open in late August.
“It definitely makes me want to hit the practice courts because when you’re so close – I’m definitely like it’s ok Serena, you can do it if you want.”Embed from Getty Images
Williams delivered a fiercely determined performance against Tan for three hours coming within two points of a victory.
Tan who is ranked 115th in the world delivered a resilient performance as the 24-year-old admitted she was scared on the court playing against Williams. She said: “It’s a dream because I saw Serena on TV when I was young… She’s a legend. I mean she won 23 Grand Slams – I was scared when I was on the court, but really happy to be there.”
However, after a win against Williams, the French woman has now been branded as “unprofessional” by her doubles partner Tamara Korpatsch as she pulled out of the competition. Korpatsch said: “If you’re broken after a three-hour match the day before, you can’t play professional. That’s my opinion.”
Following her Wimbledon debut, Tan was due to team up with Korpatsch on Wednesday afternoon, but she pulled out with a thigh injury at the 11th hour. In a statement on Instagram Korpatsch wrote “I’m very sad, disappointed, and also angry that I can’t play my first doubles Grand Slam.”Embed from Getty Images
The 27-year-old German player, who was beaten in the first round of the singles tournament by Heather Watson, added “It’s really not fair to me.
“She asked me before the tournament if we wanna play doubles and I said yes, I didn’t ask her, she asked me!”
Tan is set to continue her singles campaign against Sara Sorribes Tormo, in the secound round of the singles tournament, on Thursday and there is no indication she will be withdrawing from the match.
Sorribes Tormo played her first round against the American qualifier Christina McHale 6-2, 6-1.
Korpatsch has now retracted her now-deleted statement, taking to Instagram again to explain that she and Tan have discussed the situation and are now on good terms.
She wrote: “Hey Everyone, Me and Harmony have talked and figured out all misunderstandings.
“She made me clear about her injury now and we already apologised to each other.
“As a fact I will delete my previous post. And I will ask not to write bad comments to her.”