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Tennis: German duo Tatjana Maria and Jule Niemeier continue their Wimbledon fairy tale

Tennis: German duo Tatjana Maria and Jule Niemeier continue their Wimbledon fairy tale
Photo: ©getty images . . 07/03/202

The Wimbledon fairy tale of newcomer Jule Niemeier and the magic journey of the experienced Tatjana Maria are continued. Both meet in the quarterfinals.

In the best moment of her career till date, Jule Niemeier first thought of her British opponent and won the hearts of the fans. Tatjana Maria gets all the sympathies in the All England Club anyway. The two unexpected Wimbledon heroines from Germany have led their fairytale triumph to the quarter-finals of the most important tournament in the tennis world. And for one of them the journey will go on.

On Tuesday they meet, the debutante from Dortmund and the mother of two little kids, Maria. So one thing is certain: after Angelique Kerber last year, a German is again playing for a place in the Wimbledon final. One that nobody had on the list.

"Sorry that I kicked out a British player today," said 22-year-old Niemeier, somewhat embarrassed. Shortly before that, she had beaten Heather Watson 6-2, 6-4 on a very special "middle Sunday" on which the 100th anniversary of tennis' most sacred place was celebrated with all sorts of celebrities and pomp.

A few meters away, Maria saved two match points, turned a match against Latvian Jelena Ostapenko that she thought was lost. And after the 5:7, 7:5, 7:5 she made a declaration of love to the fans and her family. Without the spectators, she would not have made it, Maria said: "They were always there, and if they believe in me, then I believe in myself too."

Her family is always there, too. Her husband Charles Edouard and their two daughters Charlotte and Cecilia. "It makes me so proud to be a mom, it's the best thing in the world. I love it, I love my kids and being able to experience that together," Maria said.

While next door stars and champions - including Angelique Kerber - were celebrating and Niemeier was waiting for her match, Maria and Ostapenko fought a very exciting duel. The 34-year-old, who comes from Bad Saulgau, unnerved the former French Open winner with her undercut forehand and backhand shots, which bounce so disgustingly deep on the lawn. She had previously sent home Sorana Cirstea (Romania/No. 26) and Maria Sakkari (Greece/No. 5).

Niemeier proved once again that she is ready for the big stage. Record champion Roger Federer even came on this memorable day. And in its wake two dozen tournament winners such as Angelique Kerber, Björn Borg, Rod Laver and Billie Jean King. Certainly Boris Becker would have been invited to his living room if he didn't have to serve his sentence.

On the other hand, the All England Club welcomed as guests on this "middle Sunday", which was an official match day for the first time at the 135th edition of the Championships, refugees from Ukraine, Afghanistan and Syria as well as helpers from the health system, the COVID heroes of the Island.

They all saw a fearless newcomer, aggressive, powerful. Just like in the first two rounds and significantly improved in terms of play compared to the trembling victory over Lesia Zurenko on Friday. The historic stage, the stars and superstars and also the thousands of home fans of the British Watson: All of this only seemed to motivate Niemeier.

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