WTA Insider recaps the biggest stories, best quotes and best stats from Week 1 at Wimbledon.
Alizé Cornet ends the series of Iga Swiatek at 37
At the start of the 2022 season, 32-year-old Alizé Cornet had a big goal: to play all four Grand Slams to eclipse Ai Sugiyama’s WTA record of 62 consecutive major appearances. Then the plan was to hang up his racquet.
Seven months later, Cornet is enjoying one of the best Slam seasons of his career. In January, she stunned Simona Halep at the Australian Open to make her first major quarter-final. Now, on the heels of a run to the Bad Homburg semi-finals, Cornet has played a confident and veteran game to stop world number 1 Iga Swiatek in the third round.
Ode to the 135 days and 37 consecutive victories of Iga Swiatek
Cornet has now made the second week of Wimbledon twice in his career. Both times she stunned the dominant world No. 1 on the No. 1 court, having achieved the same feat against Serena Williams in 2014.
In her Wimbledon debut, Harmony Tan stuns Serena Williams
France’s Harmony Tan faced a daunting task on her Wimbledon debut. The 24-year-old Frenchwoman had been drawn to face seven-time champion Serena Williams on center court on the first day of the tournament. It would be a packed and energetic crowd welcoming Williams back to singles competition for the first time in a year.
In the second longest match of the tournament, Tan would dice Serena on the court to test the 40-year-old champion’s fitness and mobility. It looked like a futile game after Serena rallied after one set to lead twice by a break in the third set. But after 3 hours and 10 minutes, the world No. 115 pulled off a remarkable 4-0 comeback in the decisive tiebreaker to claim her first victory on grass at the circuit level, 7-5, 1-6, 7 -6 ( seven).
But Tan didn’t stop there. She followed up the win with straight-set wins over Sara Sorribes Tormo and Katie Boulter to win three straight matches for the first time at a Grand Slam and advance to the knockout stages.
Harmony Tan stays cool to reach second week at Wimbledon
Tatjana Maria kills three seeds to advance to 1st round of 16
Germany’s Tatjana Maria, 34, became the seventh Open Era woman to advance to the Wimbledon quarter-finals after turning 34, joining a list of legends that includes Billie Jean King, Virginia Wade, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Serena Williams and Venus Williams.
Not bad for the mother-of-two, who was the head-killer of the tournament. With spectacular victories over the n°26 Sorana Cirstea, No. 5 Maria Sakkari and #12 Jelena Ostapenko, who she saved match points againstMaria qualified for the first Grand Slam quarter-final of her career.
Mother-of-two Maria brings family business to Wimbledon breakout race
The moving farewell of Kirsten Flipkens
In her last singles tournament, Kirsten Flipkens left it all on the court in her second-round loss to Simona Halep. She led the 2019 champion by a break in both sets and wowed the crowd with her deft hands and net shots.
Halep would rally to claim a straight-set victory, but the post-match scenes were a perfect end to the Belgian’s career at Wimbledon. A junior champion in 2003 who had a stunning run to the semis in 2013, Flipkens embraced the court in tears and left her trademark headband behind.
‘There is life outside of tennis’ – Flipkens bid farewell to Wimbledon
Venus Williams returns victorious
Venus Williams flew overseas with no intention of picking up a tennis racket. But inspired by her sister’s return, the five-time Wimbledon champion said, “Why not?” Quick message to former ATP double No. 1 Jamie Murray led to first pairing and entertainment first-round victory in mixed doubles.
Stats of the week
18: The age of the player who landed the fastest serve in the tournament in the first week. Coco Gauff fired a 124 mph serve in the second round.
3: Number of players to have already beaten Serena Williams in the first two rounds of a major and progress to week two. Harmony Tan has joined the short list, which includes Venus Williams (Australian Open 1998) and Garbiñe Muguruza (Roland Garros 2014).
9: Winning streak carried by Ons Jabeur in his second straight quarter-final at Wimbledon. Champion in Berlin, Jabeur has yet to lose a game on grass this year. She has not yet lost a set during the fortnight.
ten: String of consecutive victories for Simona Halep at Wimbledon. She is back in the round of 16 for her first appearance since winning the title in 2019.
2: Number of Top 8 seeds remaining in the draw. The No. 3 seed Jabeur is in the quarter-finals, while the No. 4 seed Badosa is in the fourth round. A player ranked outside the Top 8 has only won Wimbledon six times.
Quotes of the week
“There’s always the belief that I can do it. I mean, that’s why I came back after the first. That’s why I came back after the second. Otherwise, if I don’t believe I can do those things, then I wouldn’t be there.” — Tatjana Maria after qualifying for her first major quarter-final.
“Sometimes when I’m training in Italy it’s a really nice place, and it’s a small town, a small town by the sea, and sometimes when you’re just, you know, eating good food and having a great Italian espresso, and you see that you are surrounded by beautiful nature, for a few moments you forget and you are relaxed and you think, oh, life is good. It’s very hard for me to explain to you and I hope none of the people ever have I’ve ever felt that, but it’s like a part of me is always so tight, and I think it will be a great liberation when the war is over. But not before.” – Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko, who qualified for the third round of a Slam for the first time since 2018.
“I think I’m a bit more relaxed when I’m the underdog. I think I have nothing to lose, and that’s when I have nothing to lose that I’m most dangerous. I play my shots, like, more relaxed, I hit better from the baseline. I don’t know, I don’t have a parasite in my thoughts.” — Alizé Cornet after beating Swiatek.
Q. How do you think you would have done against [Ash Barty] on the grass ?
IGA SWIATEK: I think I would lose (smiles). But on clay right now, I think I would win, yeah.
“It’s quite funny because we played a US Open junior final. We had a few games. I think we will play a lot in the future. It’s an exciting rivalry. I will always love to play against she.” — Amanda Anisimova after defeating Coco Gauff in the third round.
“When I was young, they told me that I couldn’t be a very good player with this game, so it was really difficult for me. I had no help, and financially it was really difficult. But there is a person who believes in me. It was Nathalie Tauziat when I was 18, and we are working on this game. I think it works today (smile). — Harmonie Tan
“The people I looked up to, Serena and Venus, have 14 Grand Slam doubles. Those are the people I look up to, so obviously I try to model what they did. That’s why I started playing Grand Slam doubles.” — Coco Gauff, after qualifying for the mixed doubles quarter-finals with Jack Sock.
“Oh my God. After the game my coach told me he felt I was playing against a male player today. Unbelievably good. A big weapon for her. And also I need to improve my serve like Caroline , yeah.” – Zhang Shuai after Caroline Garcia’s 16 serve aces performance in the third round.
Q. Where does the nickname “Minister of Happiness” come from?
ONS JABEUR: I don’t know. The Tunisians, they invented that a few years ago, one or two years ago. It’s funny because a minister in Tunisia comes like, Hello, Minister. It was funny, but it’s good to be called that.
It was not easy at home for certain situations, but they think that when they watch my games, I bring happiness. That’s why they call me that.
“Win or lose, I was going to train anyway. I think my trainer pushed me a little bit harder. I still feel it in my legs. I felt like crying too while I was doing my squats .That was ‘t pretty (smiling).In the back of my head I thought to myself, this is the only way.- Bianca Andreescu is going to train after losing in the second round to Elena Rybakina.
“That was one hell of a ride.” -Kirsten Flipkens