Tatjana Maria raised her hands in the air, tears of joy welling up in her eyes. On a memorable day in the round of 16, the 34-year-old continued her fairytale journey to Wimbledon and knocked out the next favourite. At 5:7, 7:5, 7:5 against Jelena Ostapenko, she fended off two match points with great tenacity and, thanks to a tactical masterpiece, reached the quarterfinals.
Maria thanked the “fantastic viewers” who helped her extricate herself from the seemingly hopeless situation. “They’ve always been there, and if they believe in me, then I believe in me,” Maria said.
The mother-of-two, who gave birth to her second daughter just 15 months ago, upset the No. 12 with her forehand and backhand shots that bounce so low on the green. She previously upset Sorana Cirstea (Romania/No. 26) and Maria Sakkari (Greece/No. 5).
“I know everyone is stressed about it,” she said ahead of her clash with Ostapenko. The piece, especially with the forehand, is out of fashion, but, like the one Maria played at the All England Club in those days, it was extremely effective. Ostapenko knew what to expect, but it took her a few minutes to find an antidote. Maria led 3:1, then it was a match.
The 25-year-old Ostapenko with all her power and top on offense, Maria defensively solid, lurking and heading to the net when given the chance. While stars and champions next door – including Angelique Kerber – were celebrating the center’s 100th birthday with refugees and pandemic heroes and Niemeier was waiting for their match, Maria and Ostapenko had a very exciting duel.
At 5:6 Maria made a small mistake, a double fault gave Ostapenko the set ball, which she used with all her experience in big matches. In 2017 he surprisingly triumphed at Roland Garros and reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in the same year. 2018 took one more round before it got quieter for the Latvian.
This Sunday, on the former rest day at Wimbledon, which will be used as an official match for the first time this year at the 135th edition of the Championship, she came out strong, aggressive and strong, and went 4-1 down in the second set. . Maria dealt with it regularly, stepped up, fended off two match balls, forced the third round, with the drama reaching its climax.
At first Ostapenko led but Maria did not let herself be shaken, then the German, who has long lived in Florida with her family, won 5:4 – and Ostapenko fought back. Maria found the next opportunity. The trip goes on.