Fans haven't held back in calling for tennis legend Serena Williams to retire following her first-round Wimbledon defeat to the unseeded Harmony Tan.
It was Williams’ first singles match in a year after a long injury layoff, however, the 40-year-old looked rusty in her three-set loss.
The unseeded Frenchwoman had never played on grass before this year but managed to oust Williams in the three-hour showdown – resulting in the former Wimbledon winner’s first-ever knockout in round one of the prestigious tournament.
Tan’s on-court interview following the tie revealed her feelings toward facing the living legend.
She said: “When I first saw the draw, I was really scared. Because it’s Serena Williams, she’s a legend.
“I was like, ‘How can I play?’ And if I win one game or two games, it (would be) really good for me.
“I don’t know what to say, I’m so emotional now because she’s a superstar.
“When I was young I was watching her so many times on the TV. For my first Wimbledon, this is just... wow.”
Some fans reacted brutally toward seeing Williams being shockingly knocked out by her opponent.
One fan tweeted: “Serena Williams. You’re tired. Just retire.”
Serena Williams. You're tired. Just retire.— Kwame Benaiah (@kwamebenaiah) June 28, 2022
Another said: “I think it’s time for Serena Williams to retire, and that’s okay! She’ll always be the GOAT. Nobody can beat her when she’s at her best.”
USA Today journalist Dan Wolken tweeted: “Serena is an incredible competitor and poured it all out today. She also just lost to a junkballer at Wimbledon. We need to stop talking about her winning majors.”
Serena is an incredible competitor and poured it all out today. She also just lost to a junkballer at Wimbledon. We need to stop talking about her winning majors. If she wants to keep playing, great, but this is the last phase.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) June 28, 2022
Commentator Martina Navratilova pretty much summed up everyone’s feelings towards the stunning result, saying: “I’m speechless.”
Despite some supporters believing the loss signalled Williams being past it, the former world number one still received a standing ovation after her loss and others applauded her for her class.
Wimbledon Uncovered reporter, Nick McCarvel tweeted: “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 the court.”
While she bowed out in the first round, the end to her 2022 Wimbledon tournament signals a less agonising finish to her previous year’s tournament.
Last year she had to quit her Wimbledon first-round match in tears after suffering an injury that saw her out of competition for 364 days.
If this were to be her last Wimbledon matchup she can retire happily knowing she finished on her own terms.
Featured Image Credit: Action Plus Sports Images / Alamy. PA Images / Alamy.
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