Tuesday at Wimbledon: Williams, Nadal, Swiatek and a Brit bonanza

Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek are the headline names in action at Wimbledon Tuesday, but there are also 12 Brits playing singles matches, including Jack Draper, Harriet Dart, Katie Boulter, Paul Jubb, Dan Evans and Liam Broady

Last Updated: 27/06/22 11:32pm

Serena Williams plays Harmony Tan in the first round on Tuesday
Serena Williams plays Harmony Tan in the first round on Tuesday

Serena Williams will be hoping to banish more ghosts when she returns to Centre Court at Wimbledon on Tuesday, nearly a year to the day since her last singles match ended in tears.

Chasing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles crown, Williams limped out of her first-round match last year with an injury and took a year off to “heal physically and mentally”.

Now, three months shy of her 41st birthday, Williams is ranked 1,204 in the world and needed a wild card to play at Wimbledon where she has won the title seven times.

She has only two doubles matches at Eastbourne under her belt going into the year’s third major where she takes on Harmony Tan.

However, Williams was glad Wimbledon broke with tradition and allowed players to practise on Centre Court to try and avoid a repeat of them slipping on the grass.

“Obviously I was super happy to be out there and have that opportunity. It was also good for me to get that out of my system because the last moment I had on Centre Court was probably not my best moment,” said Williams.

“It was always something since the match ended that was always on my mind. So it was a tremendous amount of motivation for that.

“You never want any match to end like that, it’s really unfortunate. But it was definitely something that’s always been on the top of my mind.”

Williams is still chasing another major title to move level with Margaret Court at the top of the all-time standings.

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Serena Williams insists she had not retired from the game, as she prepares for her Wimbledon first-round match against Harmony Tan on Tuesday
Serena Williams insists she had not retired from the game, as she prepares for her Wimbledon first-round match against Harmony Tan on Tuesday

Despite her return at Wimbledon this week, Williams has said her future on the tour remains uncertain, and she did not lay out any “plans” for a comeback following her injury.

She said: “I just needed to heal physically and mentally. I had no plans to be honest.

“I just didn’t know when I would come back. How I would come back. Wimbledon is such a great place to be and it just worked out.”

As Williams bids for another Grand Slam title, world No 1 Iga Swiatek is busy chasing records herself and will put a 35-match winning streak – the best in the 21st century – on the line on the same court when she takes on Jana Fett.

Swiatek has not lost since February but the 21-year-old comes into Wimbledon without playing a match on grass after she skipped the tune-up tournament in Berlin due to a shoulder issue.

Iga Swiatek has not played since winning the French Open
Iga Swiatek has not played since winning the French Open

The crowd on Centre Court will get their money’s worth with Rafael Nadal’s first-round match sandwiched between the two women’s encounters as the Spaniard resumes his quest for a calendar slam when he takes on Francisco Cerundolo.

With a record 22 majors in the bag, Nadal has put some distance between himself and his old rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic and looks primed for another.

The 36-year-old said his foot pain, which required injections en route to his victory at Roland Garros, is no longer bothering him after undergoing treatment.

“When I wake up, I don’t have this pain that I was having for the last year-and-a-half, so quite happy about that,” Nadal said.

“Since the last two weeks, I didn’t have not one day of these terrible days that I can’t move at all.”

As well as the star names, there are also 12 British players in singles action on Tuesday.

Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu both won their opening matches on Monday, but Ryan Peniston and Katie Swan did not take to the court due to the wet weather.

Peniston has climbed more than 200 places in the rankings in a year to a current career high of 147, marking his first forays on the ATP Tour by reaching the quarter-finals at both Queen’s Club and Eastbourne.

The left-hander will hope to continue that strong form against Henri Laaksonen in the first round while close friend and prospective housemate Alastair Gray takes on former Wimbledon junior champion Tseng Chun-hsin.

Will Ryan Peniston reach the second round?
Will Ryan Peniston reach the second round?

Sonay Kartal’s Grand Slam debut will come on Tuesday against 90th-ranked Danka Kovinic, with the significant carrot of a likely second-round clash against Swiatek.

“If that does happen, it will be really good for me,” said Kartal. “But I’ve still got a match to get through before that’s even a possibility.”

Jack Draper, Harriet Dart, Katie Boulter, Paul Jubb, Dan Evans and Liam Broady also play on Tuesday.

Jay Clarke and Heather Watson will also finish their matches after they were suspended on Monday.

Clarke was trailing 7-6 (3) 6-1 against Christian Harrison but had been a break up in the third set only for Harrison to hit back to make it 5-5 before play for the day on Court 18 was ended.

Watson fought back to level at one-set all against Tamara Korpatsch.

The British No 4 forced a deciding set under lights shortly before 10.30pm and with local restrictions preventing play going on past 11pm, the match referee stopped play.

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Source : Sky Sports