WTA Insider recaps the biggest stories, best quotes, and top stats from Week 1 at Wimbledon.
Alizé Cornet ends Iga Swiatek's streak at 37
At the start of the 2022 season, Alizé Cornet, 32, had one big goal: to play all four Slams to eclipse Ai Sugiyama's WTA record of 62 consecutive major appearances. Then the plan was to hang up her racquet.
Seven months on, Cornet is enjoying one of the best Slam seasons of her career. In January, she stunned Simona Halep at the Australian Open to make her first major quarterfinal. Now, off the heels of a run to the semifinals of Bad Homburg, Cornet played a confident, veteran match to stop World No.1 Iga Swiatek in the third round.
Cornet has now made the second week of Wimbledon twice in her career. Both times she has stunned the dominant World No.1 on No.1 Court, having pulled off 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 in her Wimbledon debut. The 24-year-old Frenchwoman had been drawn to play seven-time champion Serena Williams on Centre Court on the first day of the tournament. It would be a packed and energetic crowd who would welcome Williams back to singles competition for the first time in a year.
In the second-longest match of the tournament, Tan would slice and dice Serena around the court to test the 40-year-old champion's fitness and mobility. It looked like a futile play after Serena rallied from a set down to lead by a break twice in the third set. But after 3 hours and 11 minutes, the World No.115 completed a remarkable comeback from 4-0 down in the deciding tiebreak to earn her first grass-court win at tour level, 7-5, 1-6, 7-6(7).
But Tan didn't stop there. She followed up the win with straight-set victories over Sara Sorribes Tormo and Katie Boulter to win three consecutive matches for the first time at a Grand Slam and advance to the Round of 16.
3 - Three French female players (Alizé #Cornet, Caroline Garcia and Harmony Tan) have reached the Fourth Round in #Wimbledon for first time since 2005 (Amelie Mauresmo, Nathalie Dechy and Mary Pierce). Together.@WTA @WTA_insider #Wimbledon2022 pic.twitter.com/ng9TR2klZk— OptaAce (@OptaAce) July 2, 2022
Tatjana Maria upsets three seeds to make 1st Round of 16
Germany's Tatjana Maria, 34, became the seventh woman in the Open Era to make the Wimbledon quarterfinals after turning 34, joined 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 has been the seed-slayer of the tournament. With dramatic wins over No.26 Sorana Cirstea, No.5 Maria Sakkari and No.12 Jelena Ostapenko, against whom she saved match points, Maria advanced to the first Grand Slam quarterfinal of her career.
5 - Two German female players have reached the QFs in #Wimbledon in the same year for the 5th time in the Open Era after 1987 (Kohde and Graf), 2012 (Kerber and Lisicki), 2014 (Kerber and Lisicki) and 2018 (Kerber and Goerges). Mannschaft.@WTA @WTA_insider #Wimbledon2022 pic.twitter.com/Fi0Lqfc62p— OptaAce (@OptaAce) July 3, 2022
Kirsten Flipkens' emotional farewell
In her final 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 shot-making at the net.
Halep would rally to earn a straight-sets win, but the post-match scenes were a perfect ending to the Belgian's Wimbledon career. A junior champion in 2003 who enjoyed a stunning run to the semifinals in 2013, Flipkens tearfully kissed the court and left her trademark headband behind.
Venus Williams returns victorious
Venus Williams flew overseas with no intention of picking up a tennis racquet. But inspired by her sister's return, the five-time Wimbledon champion said, "Why not?" A quick text to former ATP doubles No.1 Jamie Murray led to a first-time pairing and an entertaining first-round win in mixed doubles.
Stats of the Week
18: The age of the player who hit the fastest serve of the tournament in the first week. Coco Gauff fired a 124 mph serve in the second round.
3: Number of players to have ever defeated Serena Williams in the opening two rounds of a major and progress to the second week. Harmony Tan joined the short list, which includes Venus Williams (1998 Australian Open) and Garbiñe Muguruza (2014 Roland Garros).
4 - Jule #Niemeier is the fourth youngest German female player to reach the quarterfinals in #Wimbledon in the Open Era, older only than Bettina Bunge, Steffi Graf and Sabine Lisicki. Gem.@WTA @WTA_insider #Wimbledon2022 pic.twitter.com/Xy6oxjTFOs— OptaAce (@OptaAce) July 3, 2022
9: Match win streak carried by Ons Jabeur into her second consecutive Wimbledon quarterfinal. A champion in Berlin, Jabeur has yet to lose a match on grass this year. She has yet to lose a set during the fortnight.
10: Match win streak for Simona Halep at Wimbledon. She is back in the Round of 16 in her first appearance since winning the title in 2019.
2: Number of Top 8 seeds remaining in the draw. No.3 seed Jabeur is into the quarterfinals, while No.4 seed Badosa is into the fourth round. A player seeded outside the Top 8 has won Wimbledon just six times.
1 - Qinwen Zheng is the first Chinese female player to reach the Third Round in #Wimbledon before turning 19 - prior to her, the youngest player from China to reach the R3 at SW19 was Shuai Peng in 2006 at 20 years old. Skilled.#Wimbledon2022 @WTA @WTA_insider pic.twitter.com/wrvyQhV614— OptaAce (@OptaAce) June 30, 2022
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 one. It's why I came back after the second one. If not, if I don't believe I can do these things, then I would not be here." -- Tatjana Maria after advancing to her first major quarterfinal.
"Sometimes when I train in Italy, it's a very nice place, and it's a small city, a small town by the sea, and sometimes when you are just, you know, eating great food and having amazing Italian espresso, and you see that you are surrounded by beautiful nature, for some moments you forget and you're relaxed and you think, oh, the life is good. But it's just seconds. It's very tough for me to explain to you and I hope none of the people will ever feel this, but it's just like some part of me is just always so tight, and I think it will be a big release when the war will finish. But not before." -- Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko, who advanced to the third round of a Slam for the first time since 2018.
"I think I'm a little more relaxed when I'm the underdog. I think I have nothing to lose, and that's where I have nothing to lose that I am the most dangerous. I play my shots, like, more relaxed, I hit better from the baseline. I don't know, I don't have any parasite in my thoughts." -- Alizé Cornet after defeating Swiatek.
Q. How do you think you would have got on against [Ash Barty] on grass?
IGA SWIATEK: I think I'd lose (smiling). But on clay right now, I think I would win, yeah.
"It's kind of funny because we played a US Open junior final. We've had a couple matches. I think that we'll be playing a lot in the future. It's an exciting rivalry. I will always enjoy playing against her." -- Amanda Anisimova after defeating Coco Gauff in the third round.
"When I was young, they told me that I cannot be really good player with this game, so it was really tough for me. 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 (smiling)." -- Harmony Tan
"The people I looked up to, Serena and Venus, they have 14 Grand Slams in doubles. Those are the people I look up to, so I obviously try to model what they did. That's why I started playing doubles in Slams." -- Coco Gauff, after advancing to the mixed doubles quarterfinals with Jack Sock.
"Oh, my God. After the match, my coach tell me he feeling I play against some men's player today. Unbelievable good. Big weapon for her. And also, I need improve my serve like Caroline, yeah." -- Zhang Shuai after Caroline Garcia's 16-ace serving performance in the third round.
Q. Where has the nickname 'Minister of Happiness' come from?
ONS JABEUR: I don't know. Tunisians, they came up with that I think few years ago, one or two years ago. Funny because a minister in Tunisia comes like, Hello, Minister. It was funny, but it's nice to be called that.
It wasn't easy back home for some situations, but they think when they watch my matches, I bring happiness. That's why they call me that.
"Win or lose I was going to work out anyways. I think my fitness trainer pushed me just a little bit harder. I still feel it in my legs. I was like crying, too, while I was doing my squats. It wasn't pretty (smiling). In the back of my head I told myself, This is the only way." - Bianca Andreescu on going for a workout after losing in the second round to Elena Rybakina.
"It's been a hell of a ride." -- Kirsten Flipkens