Serena Williams falls to Harmony Tan in Wimbledon return

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Serena Williams falls to Harmony Tan in Wimbledon return originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Serena Williams made her highly anticipated return to singles tennis at Wimbledon on Tuesday, but her first-round match ended in a defeat.

France’s Harmony Tan earned a 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (10-7) victory over Williams at the All England Club. The match came almost a year to the day of Williams’ last Wimbledon match, which was cut short when she tore her hamstring. 

Williams, a seven-time Wimbledon champion, came within one game beating Tan. After going down 3-4 in the third set, she won the next two games. Williams got to serve for the match, but Tan got the break point to even the set at 5-5.

Tan won the next point on her serve and got Williams down to match point in the following game. Williams countered and even fended off a matchup point to force a third-set tiebreaker.

Williams came out swinging in the first-to-10 tiebreaker, taking a 4-0 lead. Tan bounced back big time, ending the match on a 10-3 run to eliminate Williams and earn a marathon victory that lasted over three hours.

Following the match, the Centre Court crowd gave Williams a standing ovation:

Tan, who made her Wimbledon debut against Williams, advances to face Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo in the second round.