Serena Williams' 1st-Round Wimbledon Loss to Harmony Tan Stuns Twitter

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 28, 2022

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Harmony Tan of France celebrates a point against Serena Williams of United States during their Women's Singles First Round Match on day two of The Championships Wimbledon 2022 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 28, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Harmony Tan sent Serena Williams packing in the first round of Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Wimbledon @Wimbledon

"She's beaten a legend."<br><br>After three hours, 10 minutes, Harmony Tan beats Serena Williams in a first round epic<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CentreCourt100?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CentreCourt100</a> <a href="https://t.co/IQst8AzXxv">pic.twitter.com/IQst8AzXxv</a>

This was only the third time the future Hall of Famer lost in the opening round of a Grand Slam tournament.

Jon Wertheim @jon_wertheim

Serena has lost two completed first-round matches at Majors in her 25 (!) year career....both to French women

Williams' wild-card status for the tournament was a reminder of how little competitive tennis she has played recently.

Prior to Wimbledon, her last WTA event as a singles player was 2021 Wimbledon. Teaming with Ons Jabeur in doubles for the Eastbourne International at least allowed her to shake off some of the rust before heading to the All England Club.

Still, the lack of preparation was glaring as Williams committed 54 unforced errors over the match. Tan, by comparison, had 28 unforced errors, which helped to neutralize Williams' significant edge in winners (61 to 29).

By the end, the 40-year-old looked physically and mentally spent as well.

While Williams is clearly in the twilight of her career and nowhere near the all-conquering presence she was in her prime, it was still a bit jarring to watch her look so mortal on Centre Court.

Cindy Brunson @CindyBrunsonAZ

That match just taught me I’m not ready for <a href="https://twitter.com/serenawilliams?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@serenawilliams</a> to hang up her racket, not even close. 🐐 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon2022?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon2022</a>

Terrika @SheKnowsSports

My current situation after watching Serena <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a> <a href="https://t.co/E39MsVyNyz">pic.twitter.com/E39MsVyNyz</a>

For neutral observers, the match certainly made for great drama:

Colm Boohig @ColmBoohig

Commentator suggesting it's the best 1st round match in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a> history. Could well be, that felt like semi-final drama. Serena played brilliantly considering it was her 1st singles match in exactly a year. The dream is over, but <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a> came alive tonight. <a href="https://t.co/rfIXed4f3q">https://t.co/rfIXed4f3q</a>

Ben Nagle @bennagle17

Serena Williams, win or lose, proving her GOAT status time and time again. Unbelievable tennis. And fair play to Harmony Tan, too - what a way to introduce yourself to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a>. Can't take my eyes off this!

Brian Wacker @brianwacker1

Serena looks like she's about to drop on every point--she is 40, injuries, etc.--and she made some ghastly unforced errors down the stretch but, man, this is some tennis from the aging all-timer.

Frank Isola @TheFrankIsola

I love how Tan played old school lawn tennis against a knockout puncher like Serena. If that’s it for Serena at Wimbledon she gave the place one more classic match.

Nick McCarvel @NickMcCarvel

A couple of waves and a fist pump from Serena Williams as she exits Centre Court. Triumph knows many forms — she left everything out there on court.<br><br>Everything <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a> <a href="https://t.co/ayEcJnb5tb">pic.twitter.com/ayEcJnb5tb</a>

While Williams hasn't announced when she plans to hang up her racket, nothing can be taken for granted regarding her participation in tennis' biggest showcases. There's a chance this was Serena's curtain call at Wimbledon.

As much fun as it can be to watch legendary athletes at their most dominant, there's also a beauty in watching those same athletes attempt to fend off Father Time when they're clearly a diminished force.

Even in a losing effort, Williams gave tennis fans something to remember if this is in fact her final match at the All England Club.