In her first match against a Top 10 player, Jule Niemeier put on a nearly flawless performance to defeat No.2 seed Anett Kontaveit 6-4, 6-0 in just 58 minutes in the second round at Wimbledon.
In each of her three previous matches against Top 20 opponents, the 97th-ranked German had taken the competition to three sets. But in her debut on Court No. 1, Niemeier was right to close out the best victory of her career, overcoming a shutout in the second set.
Interview: Jule Niemeier, the natural talent leading Germany’s next generation
This time last year, Niemeier reached Wimbledon qualifying in good form, but lost two match points against Natalia Vikhlyantseva in the final round. The 22-year-old had to wait until Roland Garros last month to make her Grand Slam main draw debut, and she followed it up with the biggest title of her career thus far at the Makarska WTA 125.
Against Kontaveit, who has been suffering from the side effects of Covid-19 for the last two months, Niemeier was able to translate his talent into a big result for the first time. In her first Grand Slam third round, she will face 29th seed Anhelina Kalinina or Lesia Tsurenko.
Match management: Niemeier’s success was backed by a stellar performance in the service. She did not face a break point and conceded just five points behind her first delivery and seven behind her second.
A stroke of luck was decisive in a very disputed first set. A dead net cord caused the only break point of the stanza for Niemeier in game five, and she converted it as Kontaveit netted a backhand.
But in the second set, Kontaveit’s game disintegrated as Niemeier went from strength to strength. Consecutive double faults from the Estonian conceded serve in the first game, and another pair left her with a double break for 3-0.
For Niemeier, overcoming a four-deuce fight to cement the break 2-0 was crucial. It was the only service game of the day where he struggled with his own game, but once he passed that test, he sped toward the finish line.
Demonstrating easy power on the forehand and easy touch on the drop, Niemeier finished with 13 winners to Kontaveit’s seven and 13 unforced errors to the World No.3’s 24.
Tsurenko triumphs in the Ukrainian derby
Ukraine’s second-round contest between Lesia Tsurenko and No.29 seed Anhelina Kalinina was a reminder to put tennis results into perspective. After her victories in the first round, Kalinina revealed that her parents’ apartment had been destroyed in the ongoing war, while Tsurenko said that one of the targets of the Russian invasion was 100 meters from the house. her.
“When the war started, I started to feel this tension inside me,” Tsurenko said. “I think that even if I work every day with a psychologist and try to avoid these emotions, it is impossible. I think that this feeling, this tension will only be released when the war is over. There is nothing I can do about it.”
Ranked No. 101 Tsurenko, who reached the Eastbourne quarterfinals last week, overcame a break in the third set to defeat Kalinina 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 and return to the Wimbledon third round by first time since then. 2017 and second time in total.
Pliskova completes victory in the first round
Last year’s Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova needed just a few minutes on Wednesday to pull off a win. The former World No.1 defeated fellow Czech Tereza Martincova 7-6(1), 7-5 in two days to reach the second round.
No.6 seed Pliskova and World No.61 Martincova went toe-to-toe on Tuesday night with Pliskova winning the first set after an early break. Nothing separated the duo 5-5 in the second set, when the match was postponed due to delay.
Returning to Court 1 on Wednesday, Pliskova broke Martincova immediately before pulling out the win. In total, Pliskova and Martincova had the same number of unforced errors, but Pliskova fired 29 winners, far surpassing Martincova’s 12.
Pliskova will return on Thursday to face British hopeful Katie Boulter in the second round. Pliskova and Boulter have split their two previous meetings, with the Brit’s victory coming last week in Eastbourne Gardens.