Taking part in her first singles match for a 12 months after harm, Serena Williams’ opening-round Wimbledon loss to Concord Tan on Tuesday was hardly her most surprising defeat, however there have been loads of indicators it might be probably the most portentous but.
After all no one goes on for ever, not even Williams who has carried out quite a few close to miracles all through a profession spanning three a long time.
Nonetheless, it made for uncomfortable viewing seeing the rusty seven-times champion a light shadow of the participant who has gained 23 Grand Slam singles crowns.
Wimbledon 2022: Serena surprised by Tan in first-round epic
Wimbledon 2022: Maxime Cressy sends sixth seed Auger-Aliassime crashing out of first spherical
For having lengthy made a behavior of seeing off lesser mortals whereas cruising at barely half tempo, on Tuesday there appeared nothing to dig into, no additional gear, nor any aura to lend a bonus.
As an alternative she brandished blunted instruments and slumped to a three-set defeat earlier than considering her future.
“That is a query I can not reply,” the 40-year-old mentioned when requested if she would return to Wimbledon. “Like, I do not know. I really feel like, you realize, I do not know. Who is aware of? Who is aware of the place I am going to pop up.
“At present I gave all I may do … Possibly tomorrow I may have gave extra. Possibly every week in the past I may have gave extra. However as we speak was what I may do. In some unspecified time in the future you may have to have the ability to be okay with that.
“And that is all I can do. I can not change time or something, so …”
It’s at all times going to be robust for Williams to stroll away from the game she has dominated. And regardless of falling brief on her return to singles motion right here, she appears motivated to maintain going, holding the door open for an emotional return to New York for the U.S. Open in August.
“It positively makes me wish to hit the apply courts as a result of, you realize, if you’re taking part in not dangerous and also you’re so shut,” she mentioned, searching for one thing constructive from a nasty day.
“Like I mentioned, another opponent most likely would have suited my recreation higher. So, yeah, I really feel like that it is really type of like, Okay, Serena, you are able to do this in order for you.
“Yeah, I imply, if you’re at house, particularly in New York, and the U.S. Open, that being the primary place I’ve gained a Grand Slam, is one thing that is at all times tremendous particular. Your first time is at all times particular. There’s positively, you realize, plenty of motivation to get higher and to play at house.”