Tatjana Maria closed her eyes, threw both arms up and enjoyed her next goose bumps coup in disbelief. With a lot of energy, the 34-year-old mother of two continued her sensational run at the tennis classic in Wimbledon and reached the quarter-finals for the first time. The 34-year-old defeated number 12 Jelena Ostapenko 5: 7, 7: 5, 7: 5 on Sunday and will now meet Jule Niemeier from Dortmund on Tuesday (2:30 p.m.).
“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.”
In the second set, Maria fended off two match points from her opponent and after 2:07 hours got the greatest success of her 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. “It makes me so proud to be a mother. It’s the best thing in the world,” she said in her acceptance speech. “I love my two children.” Maria collected the equivalent of 360,000 euros for the success.
Shortly after Tatjana Maria’s victory, Niemeier also made it into the round of eight players: The 22-year-old beat Brit Heather Watson 6-2, 6-4 on Center Court in 76 minutes on Sunday.
As a result of the success, both German tennis players also get a place in Wimbledon’s elite “Last 8 Club”.
All singles quarterfinalists, doubles semifinalists and mixed finalists will be admitted to the Last 8 Club at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Membership entitles you to visit the tournament for life, taking a guest with you and occupying special seats on Center Court and Court 1. There is also free tea and coffee and Happy Hour every day from 6pm to 7pm.
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. Maria celebrated the break to 6:5 with a loud scream, her husband cheered in the stands with both fists – a little later she made the win of the second set perfect with a clean sheet.
The decisive passage became a test of nerves. Ostapenko started better again, but vacillated between the extremes. Maria came back again. With a score of 5:4 and a break before, she served to win the match, Ostapenko equalized and tapped his forehead. Maria made the break again – and was finally allowed to cheer.