Week one of Wimbledon is done and dusted. While shorn of some star names- due to a ban on Russian and Belarussian players- the tournament has been riveting nonetheless. The tennis itself has been top-notch, but the return of capacity crowds has added more volume and colour to courtside action. With a bevvy of upsets, controversies and fairy-tale runs, the grass-court Major swings into the latter stages. But before diving ahead, we look back on five major talking points from the week that was:
Harmony Tan stuns Serena Williams on Wimbledon debut
Serena Williams returned to SW19 after a 52-week hiatus. Sluggish from the get-go, Frenchwoman Harmony Tan exploited every rusty muscle on the American to clinch a three-plus-hour epic. Serena showed glimpses of her quality, but it wasn’t to be for the 23-time Major winner. Tan fought off nerves and the intermittent brilliance of her opponent, rising from the brink over and over again to settle the tie after a compelling deciding set tiebreaker.
She hasn’t looked back since, gliding her way to a fourth-round match against 20th-seeded American Amanda Anisimova.
Also Read: Not so serene after all: Where Serena Williams stands after Wimbledon first-round loss?
Nick Kyrgios brings bad boy flavour to the grass
The divisive Australian has chosen to bring the ruckus to his ongoing grass-court gig. Edging British wildcard Paul Jubb in a wild opener, he stepped his game to dismiss Serbian Filip Krajinovic in straight sets. His tennis, dripping with oomph, was as much a talking point as his on-court antics after a fractious third-round encounter against fourth-seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Unstoppable when he wants to be and always irreverent, Kyrgios duels with American Brandon Nakashima for a place in the quarters.
Also Read: Rude boy tennis: Nick Kyrgios accused of cheating, manipulation and abuse
Tatjana Maria repping the mom’s brigade
Seed-scything German Tatjana Maria has battled her way to the quarter-finals. The mother of two has gritted her way through 26th seed Sorano Cristea, 5th seeded Greek Maria Sakkari, and 12th seeded Jelena Ostapenko.
Saving two match points against Ostapenko, the German delved deep into her reserves to stun the more-fancied Latvian. An all-German dust-up against Jule Niemeier waits in the wings.
The old guard marches on
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic continue to stamp their class over all and sundry. While the Spaniard looked rusty in his opening encounters, Djokovic has been a picture of control. The Spaniard did find his levels in a straight-set demolition of Italian Lorenzo Sonego, although the match did not pass without incident.
Djokovic-on the other hand-recovered from a minor blip against Dutchman Tim van Rijthhoven to ease into the fourth round. If things go to plan, the two will renew their long-standing rivalry in a Centre Court final for the ages.
Also Read: Wimbledon 2022: Novak Djokovic asserts Covid jab not an option!
Venus Williams makes a brief return
The elder Williams sister decided to compete on a whim almost. Encouraged by sister Serena, she hit up former doubles no.1 Jamie Murray to tango in the mixed doubles section. The duo entertained the Court 1 crowd in their opening fixture but succumbed under dramatic circumstances against all-Brit pair Alicia Barnett and Jonny O’Mara.
Interestingly, the Venus-Jamie pairing continues the Williams-Murray alliance after Serena’s brief partnership with Andy.