Seven-time Major champion on grass and ex-undisputed world No.1, Serena Williams, down to 1,204th in the world, had received an invitation to enter the main draw.

Last year, she left the Center Court during the match, victim of a thigh injury.

Tuesday, back on this same court, she went after a disjointed match at the end of which she bowed.

Sometimes borrowed, not always well placed, even a little lost on the court, not knowing whether to move forward or back, not always sure of herself or her shots, she was unable to impose over the length of the match his game so powerful and intimidating which made his strength.

She gave a lot of screams to try to evacuate the obviously enormous pressure that weighed on her shoulders, but there was too much waste in her game (54 unforced errors against 28 for her opponent).

So she sometimes resorted to attempts at intimidation, with particularly theatrical demonstrations on a few key points like the one that gave her the break and the possibility of serving for the match in the third set.

But in vain.

Opposite, Tan, 24, made him run as much as possible, forwards, backwards, sideways.

Williams, visibly short physically, finished exhausted while the Frenchwoman, who was participating in her first Wimbledon, couldn't believe it.

"I'm so moved I can't find the words...She's a superstar, I've watched her so many times on TV that for my first Wimbledon, it'!" Tan commented.

Harmony Tan celebrating her victory over Serena Williams on June 28, 2022 in the first round of Wimbledon.

"I'm so moved that I can't find the words, commented the Frenchwoman. She's a superstar, I've watched her so often on television that for my first Wimbledon, it's... wow!"

Glyn KIRK AFP/Archives

"When I saw the draw, I was very scared. It's Serena Williams, a legend, I was wondering how to play against her and I thought if I ever won one or two games, it would be great," added Harmony Tan, whose coach, Nathalie Tauziat, now 54, faced Serena Williams on the tour.

The Frenchwoman could even have finished naked a little earlier but Williams saved the first match point at 6-5 in the third set before taking the game into the super-tie break.

The American then quickly pulled away 4-0 and seemed to be heading for a victory, but she was unable to maintain her advantage and ended up losing.

In July 2021, injured in a thigh, she was forced to retire in the first round against Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich (100th in the world), when she was ranked 8th in the WTA.

Serena Williams on June 28, 2022 on Center Court at Wimbledon.

Back to singles competition, the American finished exhausted after 3h11 of exchanges Glyn KIRK AFP / Archives

She had resumed competition to everyone's surprise last week in doubles in Eastbourne, associated with the Tunisian Ons Jabeur (then 3rd in the world in singles).

The duo had won their first two matches before forfeiting the semi-finals due to a knee injury to Jabeur.

© 2022 AFP