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Wimbledon day two: Serena Williams eliminated, Rafael Nadal survives scare

Wimbledon day two: Williams eliminated, Nadal survives scare
© Reuters
Serena Williams falls at the first hurdle while Rafael Nadal survives a scare to advance on day two of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships.

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams suffered a first-round elimination to France's Harmony Tan on day two of the 2022 Championships.

The wildcard took to the court for the first time since being forced to retire from SW19 injured last year and played out a Grand Slam classic with Tan, who ultimately prevailed 7-5 1-6 7-6 [10-7].

Williams was not moving at her best in the opening exchanges and was broken in the first game before starting to establish her dominance, but a stunning passing forehand from Tan handed her a well-earned first-set advantage.

It was the American's turn to break first in the second set after a 19-minute second game, with Tan hitting a wild forehand onto the umpire's chair after initially saving six break points.

Williams forced a deciding set in relatively straightforward fashion, and the early break went the way of the seven-time champion before she held with an exquisite cross-court backhand to move 3-1 up.

Tan levelled the scores with a magnificent winner of her own but then failed to get a backhand over the net from close range, as Williams let out a roar after moving one game away from the second round.

However, the American failed to serve for the set and had to save a match point before a deciding tie-break, which ultimately went the way of the free-slicing Tan to end a phenomenal contest which lasted for over three hours.

Rafael Nadal pictured at Wimbledon on June 28, 2022© Reuters

In the men's marquee match, Argentina's surprise package Francisco Cerundolo threatened to become only the third-ever player to come from two sets down to beat Rafael Nadal, but the French Open champion eventually got the job done in just over three-and-a-half hours 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-4.

Nadal raced into an early two-set lead before Cerundolo reduced the deficit courtesy of a brilliant forehand which the 22-time Grand Slam winner could only return into the net, and the Argentine threatened to stun his counterpart again.

Cerundolo found himself 4-2 up in the fourth set after another break of serve, but Nadal proceeded to win four games on the bounce and sealed the deal when the former's forehand landed wide.

Women's top seed Iga Swiatek kicked off proceedings on centre court on day two, and the French Open champion secured a far-from-straightforward two-set victory over Croatian qualifier Jana Fett.

Swiatek served Fett a bagel in the first set before the world number 252 secured an early break in the second, but she missed the chance for a double break, which would prove costly as Swiatek battled back to win 6-0 6-3.

The world number one has now won a mammoth 36 matches in a row and faces lucky loser Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove - who beat GB's Sonay Kartal - in the second round.

Iga Swiatek pictured at Wimbledon on June 28, 2022© Reuters

The day began with the news that Matteo Berrettini was forced to pull out with COVID-19 before GB's Ryan Peniston continuing his stellar grass court season with a three-set success over Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland.

Peniston made it to the second round courtesy of a 6-4 6-3 6-2 success, which marked the 135th-ranked wildcard's first-ever Wimbledon victory on his debut at SW19, but there was no such luck for Katie Swan.

Peniston's fellow wildcard - who was struggling with an apparent thigh problem during her first-round contest - lost 6-4 4-6 4-6 to Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk.

Meanwhile, 22-year-old Paul Jubb stunned Nick Kyrgios by taking the first set against the Australian, who squandered two set points in the second before eventually levelling the contest.

The Australian was taken to a deciding fifth set and was dramatically broken by Jubb while serving for the match, but a long forehand from the Brit handed Kyrgios a hard-fought 3-6 6-1 7-5 6-7 [3-7] 7-5 triumph.

There was further British success in the form of Jack Draper, who beat Zizou Bergs 6-4 6-4 7-6 [7-4] to claim his first-ever Grand Slam victory, while Katie Boulter recovered from a three-game deficit against Clara Burel to win 7-5 6-3.

Simona Halep and Coco Gauff also made it through on day two, as did Stefanos Tsitsipas, Liam Broady and Alastair Gray, but Nottingham champion Dan Evans lost 1-6 4-6 3-6 to Australia's Jason Kubler.

> Click here for a roundup of day one's action

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