05.07.2022, Großbritannien, London: Tennis: Grand Slam Wimbledon, Einzel, Damen, Viertelfinale, Maria (Deutschland) - Niemeier (Deutschland): Tatjana Maria in Aktion. Foto: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Tatjana Maria clapped her hands in front of her face in disbelief and hugged Jule Niemeier with a heartfelt hug. Thanks to an impressive comeback, 34-year-old Maria continued her fabulous Wimbledon run in the German quarter-finals and is only two wins away from the sensational title. The mother of two won a thriller 4: 6, 6: 2, 7: 5 in 2:17 hours on Tuesday and reached the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her long career.

Maria collects the equivalent of 622,000 euros for her success and now meets the winner of the match between world number two Ons Jabeur from Tunisia and Marie Bouzkova from the Czech Republic. After the previous winners Steffi Graf and Angelique Kerber as well as Sabine Lisicki, Julia Görges and Bettina Bunge, she is only the sixth German semi-finalist in the history of professional tennis at Wimbledon.

A few steps behind her Bundesliga colleague from TC Bredeney from Essen, Maria walked onto court 1 before the game started, both with a concentrated look. They posed smiling while taking a photo together on the web. On the last sip from the water bottle on the bench, Niemeier patted the towels at her side, grinned at her appendage and got off to a dream start.

With her powerful forehand, she put Maria under pressure early on and immediately took the serve from her opponent. As the best return player of the tournament so far, Niemeier had already managed a break in more than half of the cases.

Maria also attacked the net with aggressiveness and slowly fought her way into the game. The 34-year-old had also put on her normal Wimbledon routine before the match: At half past eight, training for her eight-year-old daughter Charlotte was due before Maria warmed up with her husband and trainer Charles-Edouard.

“I have my two children, this distraction is good for me. Everything is normal with us, nothing has changed,” she said shortly before the game on Sky and reported a relaxed relationship with her opponent: “We go on the pitch, both want to win and will give everything. And then it’s okay again.”

Both players remained stable in the further course of the first round with their own serve. Niemeier secured the opening set after just 43 minutes due to a return error from Maria.

Niemeier stayed tuned. The Borussia Dortmund fan earned four breakballs in Maria’s first service game – and made it 1-0 with a perfectly placed backhand pass. Endurance runner Maria had repeatedly freed herself from hopeless situations in this tournament and once again showed her fighting heart.

She equalized with a kneeling volley, and her husband in the stands cheered. Also supported by several double faults and slight mistakes by Niemeier, Maria took over the command and quickly led 4:1. The set ball was spectacular: Niemeier hit the ball through his legs while running backwards, Maria converted an ice-cold volley.