By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday, July 2, 2022
The world is getting to know France’s Harmony Tan much better this week at Wimbledon. The 24-year-old, ranked 115, started her week with a thrilling takedown of 23-time major champion Serena Williams on Centre Court.
Those who thought that might be the end of the road for the talented, soft-handed Parisian, were wrong. Tan has become just the third player to reach the second week of a Grand Slam after defeating Serena Williams in the first or second round of a major, and the first since 2014.
To be fair, the Great Serena owns a lifetime record of 151-5 in first and second-rounds at majors.
Harmony Tan joins Venus Williams (1998 Australian Open) and Garbine Muguruza (2014 Roland-Garros) as the only three players to defeat Serena Williams in R1 or R2 of a Grand Slam and reach the second week
— Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) July 2, 2022
Tan, who had never been beyond the second round in her previous six Grand Slam appearances, has made her victory over the legend count. She defeated No.32-seeded Sara Sorribes Tormo in the second round, 6-3, 6-4, and on Saturday blitzed Great Britain’s Katie Boulter, 6-1, 6-1 in 51 minutes to reach the round of 16.
Tan, who has silky smooth hands and a tendency to play slice and drop shots off of both wings, has won 44 of 66 points at net through the first week at Wimbledon.
It’s a unique brand of tennis that she plays, and Tan admits that she wasn’t thought of highly in tennis communities when she played that style of player as a teenager. She says there was really only one person in her corner, encouraging her to play her style of game – former World No.3 Nathalie Tauziat.
“When I was young, they told me that I cannot be really good player with this game, so it was really tough for me,” Tan rold reporters on Saturday. “I didn’t have some help, and financially it was really hard.
“But there is one person who believe in me. It was Nathalie Tauziat when I was 18, and we work on that game. I think it works today.”
Harmony Tan was having a lot of fun in her 51-minute victory over Katie Boulter ⚡
The Frenchwoman’s brilliant run continues and she’s into the second week of #Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/Lj9weEAhL9
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 2, 2022
Tan, who will face either Coco Gauff or Amanda Anisimova in the round of 16 at Wimbledon, hit 16 winners against 5 unforced errors against Boulter on Day 6.
“I was really surprised, because I think I play a good tactic against her, because I don’t play too strong against Katie, because she played really hard and every ball was really hard,” she said.
“She serves really good. So I just, you know, return her serve like I can, and play some slice, some just dropshot, volleys, and everything works today.”