She thought “just keep going,” said Tatjana Maria after the biggest match of her career. The 34-year-old German had completely deservedly beaten the favorite Julia Ostapenko 5: 8, 7: 5, 7: 5 and thus for the first time in her career Reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, where she will play against another German: Jule Niemeier defeated Brit Heather Watson 6-2, 6-4 on Center Court in 76 minutes on Sunday, making it clear that a German player has reached the semi-finals stands.
“Oh my God. I have no words for this incredible audience,” said Maria overwhelmed and thanked for the support. “I said to myself: they believe in me, so I believe in myself too.”
Maria now meets Jule Niemeier or the British Heather Watson. In the second set, Maria fended off two match balls and after 2:07 hours got the greatest success of her tennis career. Only 15 months after the birth of her second daughter Cecilia, she is in the top eight in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her career. Maria received the equivalent of 360,000 euros for this.
Thanks to her success, the player, who was born in Bad Saulgau, also got a place in Wimbledon’s elite “Last 8 Club”. All of the individual quarter-finalists are in it and receive, among other things, lifetime tickets for the most prestigious tournament in the world.
The former French Open winner Ostapenko did not get along with Maria’s unorthodox style of play at the beginning. The German stayed in the points for a long time with high running intensity, played the balls with an unpleasant backspin, Ostapenko often made a mistake. Maria quickly led 3-1, but slowly the Latvian (25) dosed her usual aggressive pace better and won three games in a row.
Both players stabilized on their own serve. When the score was 5:6 and the debut, Maria made a serious double mistake, then after 39 minutes Ostapenko got the first set with a forehand that whipped into the corner.
“I know it’s a tough opponent, she plays the balls very, very fast,” Maria analyzed her opponent before the game. The 34-year-old had already been able to analyze this closely during her double defeat at Wimbledon, and as usual she was tactically adjusted to the singles by her husband and trainer Charles-Edouard.
At the beginning of the second set, Ostapenko was unstoppable and led 3-0. But just like in her exhausting second-round win against Romanian Sorana Cirstea, Maria never gave up, fought back and took the serve from Ostapenko to make it 3:4. When the score was 4:5, Maria fended off the first two match balls with her forehand and a return error from her opponent.
Ostapenko, who often has problems with consistency, got out of step. With a loud scream, Maria celebrated the break to 6: 5, her husband cheered in the stands with both fists – a little later she made the win of the second set perfect with zero.