Serena Williams loses Wimbledon thriller, discusses tennis future

Serena Williams
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Serena Williams lost in her first singles match in 364 days as 115th-ranked Frenchwoman Harmony Tan outlasted her 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (7) in the Wimbledon first round in Williams’ longest match in a decade — 3 hours, 11 minutes.

Williams, a 40-year-old with 23 Grand Slam singles titles, did not say definitively in a press conference afterward whether she plans to continue playing competitive tennis.

Asked if it was likely her last singles match, she said, “That’s a question I can’t answer. Who knows? Who knows where I’ll pop up.”

Asked if she’s OK if this is her last memory at Wimbledon, she said, “Obviously not. You know me. Definitely not.”

Asked if there’s any part of her that wants to play the U.S. Open in two months, she said, “That being the first place I’ve won a Grand Slam [in 1999], is something that’s always super special. … There’s definitely lots of motivation to get better and to play at home.”

WIMBLEDON DRAWS: Women | Men

Williams followed a rusty first set with a more Serena-like second set, which included a marathon 30-point second game.

She squandered a third-set break of serve, failing to serve out the match. In the 10-point super tiebreak, she won the first four points, then lost the next four points. Tan went up a mini break at 8-6 in the tiebreak, then served it out.

“If you’re playing week in, week out, or even every three weeks, every four weeks, there’s a little bit more match toughness,” Williams said. “You’ve got to think if I were playing matches, I wouldn’t miss some of those points, or this match.”

It was Williams’ first three-hour match since her 2012 French Open first-round loss to another Frenchwoman, Virginie Razzano (which was 3:03). Those are her lone two defeats in completed first-round matches in her Grand Slam career.

“It definitely makes me want to hit the practice courts because … you’re playing not bad, and you’re so close,” Williams said. “It’s actually kind of like, OK, Serena, you can do this if you want.”

Before the tournament, Williams said she was largely motivated to take a wild card into Wimbledon by what happened last year at the All England Club. Last June 29, she tore a hamstring in a first-round match and withdrew, leaving her future in tennis in the air.

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

Also Tuesday, Coco Gauff rallied past Romanian Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in her first major match since her French Open runner-up result.

Gauff, ranked a career-high No. 12, made the fourth round in her two previous Wimbledon appearances, including her breakthrough Coco Mania run at age 15 in 2019.

She celebrated her high school graduation last month in Paris and is the youngest player in the women’s draw of 128 at Wimbledon. She is the youngest player in the WTA top 140.

“I feel like I’m a lot more relaxed than when I was considered the sensation,” Gauff said before the tournament. “It felt like everybody wanted the results to happen now, now, now. I feel like I learned so much not to put pressure on now, now, now. This time around, even though I’m considered a favorite, I don’t feel like it as much as I did when I was 15 or even 16. … I felt like I was a little bit delusional in my head about how much people wanted me to win, whereas now I feel like if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”

Gauff next gets Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu, who at 34 is nearly twice her age.

Poland’s Iga Swiatek, who defeated Gauff in the French Open final, dispatched Croatian Jana Fett 6-0, 6-3 to run her win streak to 36 matches, the longest in women’s tennis in 25 years.

Swiatek earned her 17th bagel set this year in 48 matches, matching Steffi Graf‘s number through her Wimbledon first-round match (41 matches) in her 1988 Golden Slam year.

If Swiatek wins her next match, she will tie the longest women’s streak since Graf won 66 in a row in 1989-90.

Rafael Nadal, halfway to a calendar Grand Slam, beat Argentine Francisco Cerundolo 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in his first Wimbledon match since 2019.

With 2021 Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini‘s withdrawal Tuesday, Nadal is the lone player in his half of the draw who has made a Wimbledon final.

American serve-and-volleyer Maxime Cressy took out No. 6 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (9), 7-6 (5). Auger-Aliassime was the other top-10 seed in Nadal’s quarter.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde sweeps Beaver Creek World Cup races

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Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde held off Swiss Marco Odermatt for a second consecutive day to sweep World Cup races in Beaver Creek, Colorado, this weekend.

Kilde won Sunday’s super-G by two tenths of a second over Odermatt, one day after edging Odermatt by six hundredths. France’s Alexis Pinturault took third as the podium was made up of the last three men to win the World Cup overall title, the biggest annual prize in ski racing.

This season’s overall figures to be a two-man battle between Kilde, the 2019-20 champion, and Odermatt, the reigning champion, and could come down to March’s World Cup Finals. They’ve combined to win the first five of 38 scheduled races.

The top American Sunday was River Radamus, who finished an impressive 16th given his start number was 57. Radamus’ best event is the giant slalom.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle, the Olympic super-G silver medalist, and Travis Ganong, who was third in Beaver Creek last year, both skied out.

The men’s World Cup heads next weekend to Val d’Isere, France, for a giant slalom and slalom.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

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Alpine skiing TV, live stream schedule for 2022-23 World Cup season

Mikaela Shiffrin, Marco Odermatt
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NBC Sports and Peacock combine to air live coverage of the 2022-23 Alpine skiing season, including races on the World Cup, which starts this weekend.

Coverage begins with the traditional season-opening giant slaloms in Soelden, Austria, this Saturday and Sunday, streaming live on Peacock.

The first of four stops in the U.S. — the most in 26 years — is Thanksgiving weekend with a women’s giant slalom and slalom in Killington, Vermont. The men’s tour visits Beaver Creek, Colorado the following week, as well as Palisades Tahoe, California, and Aspen, Colorado after worlds in Courchevel and Meribel, France.

NBC Sports platforms will broadcast all four U.S. stops in the Alpine World Cup season, plus four more World Cups in other ski and snowboard disciplines. All Alpine World Cups in Austria will stream live on Peacock.

Mikaela Shiffrin, who last year won her fourth World Cup overall title, is the headliner. Shiffrin, who has 74 career World Cup race victories, will try to close the gap on the only Alpine skiers with more: Lindsey Vonn (82) and Ingemar Stenmark (86). Shiffrin won an average of five times per season the last three years and is hopeful of racing more often this season.

On the men’s side, 25-year-old Swiss Marco Odermatt returns after becoming the youngest man to win the overall, the biggest annual prize in ski racing, since Marcel Hirscher won the second of his record eight in a row in 2013.

2022-23 Alpine Skiing World Cup Broadcast Schedule
Schedule will be added to as the season progresses. All NBC Sports TV coverage also streams live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Date Coverage Network/Platform Time (ET)
Sat., Oct. 22 Women’s GS (Run 1) – Soelden (PPD) Peacock 4 a.m.
Women’s GS (Run 2) – Soelden (PPD) Peacock 7:05 a.m.
Sun., Oct. 23 Men’s GS (Run 1) — Soelden Peacock 4 a.m.
Men’s GS (Run 2) – Soelden Peacock 7 a.m.
Sat., Nov. 12 Women’s Parallel (Qualifying) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 6 a.m.
Women’s Parallel (Finals) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 12 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 13 Men’s Parallel (Qualifying) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 4 a.m.
Men’s Parallel (Finals) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 10 a.m.
Sat., Nov. 19 Women’s SL (Run 1) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 4 a.m.
Women’s SL (Run 2) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 7 a.m.
Sun., Nov. 20 Women’s SL (Run 1) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 4:15 a.m.
Women’s SL (Run 2) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 7:15 a.m.
Fri., Nov. 25 Men’s DH — Lake Louise (PPD) Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 26 Women’s GS (Run 2) — Killington NBC, Peacock 12:30 p.m.
Men’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 27 Women’s SL (Run 2) — Killington NBC, Peacock 12:30 p.m.
Men’s SG — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:15 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 2 Women’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 3 Women’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Men’s DH — Beaver Creek NBC, Peacock 5 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 4 Women’s SG — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 1 p.m.
Men’s SG — Beaver Creek NBC, Peacock 5 p.m.*
Sat., Dec. 10 Men’s GS (Run 1) – Val d’Isere Skiandsnowboard.live 3:30 a.m.
Women’s GS (Run 1) – Sestriere Skiandsnowboard.live 4:30 a.m.
Men’s GS (Run 2) — Val d’Isere Skiandsnowboard.live 6:30 a.m.
Women’s GS (Run 2) – Sestriere Skiandsnowboard.live 7:30 a.m.
Sun., Dec. 11 Men’s SL (Run 1) – Val d’Isere Skiandsnowboard.live 3:30 a.m.
Women’s SL (Run 1) – Sestriere Skiandsnowboard.live 4:30 a.m.
Men’s SL (Run 2) — Val d’Isere Skiandsnowboard.live 6:30 a.m.
Women’s SL (Run 2) – Sestiere Skiandsnowboard.live 7:30 a.m.

*Delayed broadcast.

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