Tennis-Serena conqueror Tan's dream Wimbledon debut continues


Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 2, 2022 France's Harmony Tan celebrates winning her third round match against Britain's Katie Boulter REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

LONDON (Reuters) - France's Harmony Tan continued her stellar Wimbledon debut on Saturday to book her maiden fourth-round spot at a Grand Slam, crushing Briton Katie Boulter 6-1 6-1 in just 51 minutes.

The 24-year-old Tan proved that her thrilling win over seven-times Wimbledon champion Serena Williams in the opening round was no fluke and she has now won three straight Tour-level matches for the first time in her career.

"No I don't believe it yet -- if I sleep a little bit, tomorrow maybe I will believe it, but it's amazing," Tan, who will next meet one of two Americans, either Coco Gauff or Amanda Anisimova, for a place in the quarter-finals, said on court.

"I think I like grass, I never play on this court but I like to play with slice and volley and everything with my game so I'm really happy.

"It was really emotional for the first round against Serena and after it was just playing match by match and today was really good tennis."

Despite partisan support from the home crowd on Court two, Boulter failed to put up any resistance against Tan's variety and superb court coverage and the world number 118 did not help her cause by committing 21 unforced errors.

After taking on Williams on Centre Court in a late-night thriller, Tan said she was happy to be put on a smaller court.

"Because when you play a Brit on Centre Court, I think there is a lot of people for her. I like to play on a small court," Tan told reporters. "I like to play first match also because I don't wait all the day."

After breaking Boulter's serve twice, Tan sent down three aces in her fourth service game to bag the opening set in 27 minutes.

The 115th-ranked Frenchwoman secured another early break in the second set, pulled off a "tweener" trick shot to break Boulter again and a third break sealed a one-sided contest.

The big-smiling Tan did not allow Boulter a single look at her own delivery, hitting her slices to perfection to open up the court and hit 16 winners against just five unforced errors.

Tan's game, made up of crafty slices, well-disguised drop shots and an impregnable defence, might not find too many new fans but has proved effective against power-hitters on grass.

"When I was young, they told me that I cannot be really good player with this game, so it was really tough for me," she said, with a constant smile on her face.

"I didn't have help, and financially it was really hard.

"But there is one person who believed in me. It was (current coach) Nathalie Tauziat when I was 18, and we work on that game."

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Ed Osmond)

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