By Matthew Roscoe • 29 June 2022 • 14:25
'Intimidation factor' gone for Serena Williams as US star exits Wimbledon. Image: Lev Radin/Shutterstock.com
According to Swedish former world No. 1 tennis player Mats Wilander, Serena Williams’ ‘intimidation factor’ has gone because younger players “haven’t seen her win as much.”
Williams suffered a shock defeat to France’s world No. 113 Harmony Tan on Tuesday, June 28, losing 7-5 1-6 7-6(7).
Since that loss, many have questioned the future of the seven-time Wimbledon champ.
Speaking to Eurosport following the match, Mats Wilander said: “The intimidation factor I don’t think is there anymore.
“It used to be, but I don’t think these younger players are that intimidated anymore by her [Williams] because they haven’t seen her win as much.
“And I actually think Tan was a nightmare opponent for Serena. I think she [Williams] would have much rather played somebody who hits the ball harder, and maybe makes a few more mistakes because Tan doesn’t make too many mistakes. She had a perfect game plan, so she must have talked about that with [coach and former Wimbledon finalist] Nathalie Tauziat.
“What an unbelievable tennis match for someone that young .”
The 57-year-old added: “I think maybe Serena needs a few more matches. It looked like when it got close in the end the confidence was maybe not there. I’m not saying that she got nervous necessarily, but if you haven’t played more matches, you can’t really trust yourself. She hit a couple of drop shots on very big points and she must probably think ‘why, what did I do that for?’
“In the end, Tan had a very good game to play against Serena Williams because she has good hands and she made Serena move, but Serena looked really good. She just maybe lacked a bit in confidence.”
Three-time US Open champion Kim Clijsters said: “It’s going to take her a little while to get over a loss where she came so close.
“Now it’s back to thinking ‘Do I want to start at the US Open? Do I want to play a couple more tournaments in singles?’
“She will talk to her coach and see where she can improve, and where she can get some more matches before she [potentially] plays another Grand Slam in a couple of months.”
On Monday, June 27 – day one of Wimbledon – play had to be suspended due to the bad weather.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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