Maria vs. Niemeier: German Fairy Tale on the Sacred Lawn

On the morning of the German Wimbledon festival, Tatjana Maria will get up early again. That’s how it is with two children – someone has to accompany daughter Charlotte to tennis lessons. At another location in London, in Chelsea on the north bank of the Thames, Jule Niemeier will also go about her routines. Maybe check the news on Instagram, but definitely don’t look at the newspapers.

“I’m trying to hide that completely,” said Niemeier before the duel between the surprise German quarter-finalists on Tuesday: “I haven’t read a single article yet.” Even if the words mostly sound very positive: “In the end I can’t buy anything from it.”

And not always such friendly lines are written as about Maria, the “story of the tournament” (“Daily Mail”). From time to time, praise also expresses astonishment at the newcomer’s run – and that’s not very flattering. Niemeier, wrote the “Telegraph”, was an “incredible player who you can somehow imagine holding a beer mug at the Munich Oktoberfest”.

The pain of losing local heroine Heather Watson, who shot Niemeier from the 100-year-old Center Court on a British holiday, may have played a role. But they should get used to Niemeier in South West London, because, as the “Guardian” noted, the 22-year-old’s game goes perfectly with the fast turf.

This also applies to Maria, who is twelve years older than her – and it is therefore not a sensation that number 103 and number 97 in the world rankings are facing each other at this late stage of the tournament. However, the match came unexpectedly, Wimbledon saw Boris Becker twice against Michael Stich and once Angelique Kerber against Sabine Lisicki, but they were already on the tour.

Maria has ‘more important things than tennis’

Niemeier, on the other hand, is a Wimbledon debutant, and Maria has never gotten past the third round of one of the world’s largest tennis tournaments, gave birth to her second daughter Cecilia in April 2021 and has long since changed her priorities.

Eight-year-old Charlotte’s daily tennis lesson at 8.30 a.m. in the Wimbledon training hall is one of them. Only then does Maria’s day and the preparation for the (so far) most important match of her life begin.

“That’s not going to change,” said Maria after repelling two match points against Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko and writing the next chapter of her fairytale adventure at Wimbledon. You can now “perhaps even appreciate the amazing triumph more because I have more important things in my life than tennis.”

BVB stars keep their fingers crossed for Niemeier

Neither of them are dogged and obsessed with success: The experienced tactician from Bad Saulgau, who has long lived with her family in Florida, right next door to the Williams sisters. And neither does the young woman from Dortmund, who ended up in Regensburg, but whose heart is still in her home country – especially with her BVB.

He congratulates regularly, and Niemeier is now also a household name for the black and yellow football stars. “I actually received a message from Nico Schlotterbeck,” said Niemeier – and Mats Hummels mentioned her in an Insta story. That flatters even her.

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