ADVERTISEMENT

Tatjana Maria enjoying a ‘dream’ race at Wimbledon 15 months after the birth of her second child

ADVERTISEMENT


Wimbledon
CNN

At 8:30 am, a few hours before play at Wimbledon begins, Tatjana Maria heads to practice. It’s a daily ritual that she has served him well throughout the tournament so far, though she won’t end up hitting a ball.

That’s because her eight-year-old daughter, Charlotte, is a budding tennis star who works out every morning. Later in the day, Maria will hit the courts, which on Tuesday meant her claiming the biggest win of her career and a place in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

ADVERTISEMENT

With her 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 victory against fellow German Jule Niemeier, the 34-year-old Maria continued her remarkable career at SW19, 15 months after the birth of her second daughter, Cecilia.

“It’s a dream,” he said in his on-court interview, “a dream to live this with my family, with my two little daughters. I mean, a year ago, I had just given birth.”

Before this year’s Wimbledon, Maria had never progressed beyond the third round of a Grand Slam tournament in 34 attempts. It’s no wonder, then, that she admitted to having “goosebumps everywhere” as she soaked up the applause from Court No. 1, the site of her battle for victory on Tuesday.

But as she prepares for her semi-final against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, there’s little chance Maria will change her daily routine by juggling tennis and motherhood.

“I’m in the Wimbledon semi-final and it’s crazy, but I’m still a mom, and after this, I’m going to go out and see my kids and do the same thing I do every day,” she told reporters. .

“I will change from Pampers, everything as usual. I try to keep (things) normal as much as possible. That’s what I’m most proud of: being a mom.”

Maria celebrates taking the second set against Niemeier.

READ: Iga Swiatek’s winning streak ends with loss to Alizé Cornet at Wimbledon

Maria has become the sixth woman in the Open Era to reach the final four of a Grand Slam after turning 34, following in the footsteps of Venus and Serena Williams, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Billie Jean King.

His journey to get there has not been easy. Four of her five Wimbledon matches have gone to three sets and she had to save match points against Jelena Ostapenko in the fourth round.

But Maria has shown that fighting and fighting on the pitch is in her nature. She proved it once again against Niemeier, 22, when she bounced back from losing the first set to take the second, then rallied from a break to win the third.

“It’s kind of my life to show everyone that I’m still here and I’m a fighter and I keep going and I keep dreaming,” Maria said. “That’s what I want to show my kids.”

Against Niemeier, he frustrated his opponent with slice shots from both the forehand and backhand.

He found his rhythm in the second and secured breaks at 2-1 and 5-2, leveling the match with a forehand volley winner after Niemeier was forced to play a between-the-legs shot from the back of the court.

Niemeier, playing in her second Grand Slam but ranked six places ahead of Maria as world No.97, appeared to take control of the match with a third-set break, but inconsistency was her undoing.

She finished the match with 11 double faults, all in the first two sets, and 49 unforced errors to Maria’s 34. However, that did not detract from what was an entertaining and exciting match, and the crowd responded with one foot. ovation when Maria won her first of two match points in the third set.

“I’m happy I was able to do it, even when I was down 4-2 in the third set,” he said. “I kept going, I kept fighting.”

Maria (left) and Niemeier shared a long hug after the match on Court No. 1.

READ: What’s next for Serena Williams after her gutsy Wimbledon first-round exit?

Maria changed her unorthodox style of play, which involves lots of spin and slice shots, last year after her coach, her husband Charles, suggested switching to only a one-handed backhand, an unusual change for a player to do so late in his career.

But despite the risk, Maria says it has become a “super important” shot in her game.

“In the beginning, it’s not that easy because you need confidence, you need to play the shot, you have to gain confidence in the shot,” he said. “I kept going and it’s getting better and better.”

Change, whether in tennis or in life, clearly suits Maria. She won her second WTA title in Bogotá, Colombia, in April, and is now enjoying her best Grand Slam career.

“A year ago, I gave birth to my second daughter, and if someone told me a year later that you are in the Wimbledon semi-final, it would be crazy,” she said.

Still, she will continue to take Charlotte to practice every morning, as her daughter seems to be enjoying the Wimbledon experience as much as her mother.

“Charlotte, she’s happy to be able to stay two more days at the nursery,” Maria laughs.

“She realized that she is something super special, so if I see her after (a game), she runs into my arms and she is very proud of me.”

sniloans