According to Mats Wilander, Serena Williams‘ shocking loss at Wimbledon may have been caused by her declining “intimidation factor”. Williams lost to France’s Harmony Tan, the world’s No. 113 player, in three sets on Centre Court in her injury comeback after a year away. Tan’s varied playing style caused issues for the American all match long.
It was a surprise to see Harmony Tan play so well on the kind of stage she has so rarely frequented in her career to date – especially against a legend of the game. However, Wilander believes Serena Williams’ few recent performances may have diminished her stature among younger players.
“I don’t think these younger players are that intimidated anymore by her”- Mats Wilander on Serena Williams
“The intimidation factor I don’t think is there anymore. It used to be, but I don’t think these younger players are that intimidated anymore by her [Williams] because they haven’t seen her win as much,” said Eurosport analyst Mats Wilander.
“And I actually think Tan was a nightmare opponent for Serena. I think she [Williams] would have much rather played somebody who hits the ball harder and maybe makes a few more mistakes because Tan doesn’t make too many mistakes. She had a perfect game plan, so she must have talked about that with [coach and former Wimbledon finalist] Nathalie Tauziat, “ he added.
He concluded by saying, “I think maybe Serena needs a few more matches. It looked like when it got close in the end the confidence was maybe not there. I’m not saying that she got nervous necessarily, but if you haven’t played more matches, you can’t really trust yourself. She hit a couple of drop shots on very big points and she must probably think ‘why, what did I do that for?'”