Serena Williams could not get past Harmony Tan in the first round of Wimbledon while Iga Swiatek now holds the longest active win streak in women’s tennis after Day 2 of the tournament.
The seven-time champion, Serena, was playing her first singles match in over a year after being granted a wildcard for the tournament.
But her rustiness was on display as she suffered a second straight first-round exit at the hands of French debutant Harmony Tan in a Centre Court 3-hour and 11-minute marathon. The 115th-ranked Tan got the biggest win of her career courtesy of a 7-5 1-6 7-6(7) win.
As the match approached the 11 pm curfew, many were anticipating a deferment only for Williams to build a 4-0 lead in the super tie-break of the third set.
But Tan, who had never played a Wimbledon main draw match before used her slice and slow ball shots to race to a 9-7 lead before winning the encounter as Williams’ forehand found the net.
With another first-round exist and questions over her willingness to return to WTA Tour, Serena’s quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam may prove out of reach.
While Serena Williams at Wimbledon was the biggest news of the day, significant eyeballs were on the women’s world no.1 Iga Swiatek who put her 35-match win-streak on the line against Jana Fett.
The Pole raced through the first set 6-0 but stumbled in the second, almost going down a double-break at 1-3.
But she soon found her feet reeling off five straight games to win 6-0, 6-3 and set a new record of consecutive wins.
Her 36th win bettered Venus Williams’ record of most wins on the trot since 2000 on the WTA Tour.
Joining Swiatek in the next round are the French Open finalist Coco Gauff, Jeļena Ostapenko, Alizé Cornet, Simona Halep, Maria Sakkari, Paula Badosa, Amanda Anisimova, Petra Kvitová, Sara Sorribes Tormo, and Bianca Andreescu.