There is no age to achieve your dreams. At 34, who will soon turn 35 on August 8, Tatjana Maria will play a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the first time in her career. A special event, a special opponent: her compatriot Jule Niemeier, 22 years old and high hopes of German tennis, in full resurgence among the girls in terms of density after the soloist Angelique Kerber in recent years.
For Tatjana Maria, born Tatjana Malek, before taking her husband’s name in 2013, life on the circuit has not been easy, she who has mainly gone beyond the Top 50 in the WTA. His record on the secondary circuit is eloquent: 18 singles titles (19 doubles). Ranked as the best of her career in 46th place, in November 2017, the right-hander did it all late during her professional career, which began in the mid-2000s.
As a test, he won his first WTA circuit title at age 30. He was already on the pitch, in Mallorca, on June 24, 2018. Since then, he had only added another title to his list. He went to Bogota, on clay, last April. An omen that things were in order for the world’s 103rd player. The German competed again in July 2021 at the WTA 125 and ITF tournaments in the United States, after her second pregnancy.
The family journey
Tatjana Maria is the mother of two children. Charlotte was born in 2013 when Mary was 26 years old. Cécilia, 14 months old, was born in April 2021. Two breaks for babies are a rarity for a tennis player, but they have changed the way of seeing things of the champion, now dedicated first to her family, then to her work as a professional player. . Married to former French player Charles-Edouard Maria (best ranked in the 398th place ATP in 2001), who is also her coach, the German travels the world with her family. And not otherwise.
Inevitably, the issue of motherhood came up very often at this Wimbledon. For Maria, it is not too intimate or redundant a subject: she likes to talk about it and explain how she has found balance. This is done with your loved ones around you when you wander from tournament to tournament. “I like to play more because I know there are much more important things in life than playing a game of tennis. For me it’s a great thing. I made my dreams come true“, he stressed after qualifying for the quarterfinals.
“My family and my two children are the two most important things. When I’m not on the track, I take care of my two little ones and everything is normal. Playing tennis does not change the life of the side. I am a mother, I love being a mother. I love my two little ones. It is the best thing in the world to be a mother. “
Tennis is contagious. Charlotte, the big one, has already started kicking the ball and she really likes it. Her father has already started taking care of her. He is the other reason for the return of the Bad Saulgau native. “He also does a great job. And without him, nothing would be possible“Maria told the ITF earlier this year.
Wimbledon, a special tournament for her
Tatjana Maria’s Grand Slam trips were not crowned with success. Far. At the Australian Open, he only won 2 matches in nine appearances. Same record at Roland-Garros: 2 hits in eight appearances. He’s barely better at the U.S. Open: 3 wins in eight major draws. But at Wimbledon it’s a little different: he had won 5 games in nine games and got his best result in a Major 2015 edition. But that’s a thing of the past: 2022 has passed.
If there was a tournament where he was finally going to make his way, it was on the lawn of the All England Club. His game, rather defensive, based on slices, adapts perfectly to the surface. Our consultant Barbara Schett had stressed this after Maria’s qualification in fourth after a great fight Jelena Ostapenka (5-7, 7-5, 7-5).
“She got an amazing match against Jelena Ostapenko. He managed to save two game points (in the 4-5, in the 2nd set, ed.). It shows how mentally strong he is and how effective his game is. Cut well right and left, go to the net“, analyzed the former Eurosport player.
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One peculiarity helped Maria on a technical level: going from a two-handed setback to a one-handed setback. She had decided to opt for this change, almost unique within the WTA circuit, at the heart of her career during her first pregnancy break nine years ago. Recently, he decided to increase his percentage of sliced shots, to the point of abusing them a little too much. “Slice is my main weapon in the grass“, he caught after eliminating Maria Sakkari, current 5th in the world, in the 3rd round.
This atypical game allows you to perfectly cover the track. Even more surprising: if the opportunity arises, he goes online to finish the exchanges, a tactic contrary to his basic game. His main strength in London this year is that he gives few points. He only made 63 unforced errors in four games (18 in the 1st and 2nd round, 12 in the 3rd round and 15 in the 8th). An impressive balance. Tatjana Maria is, therefore, a realized mother, a player finally fulfilled, but above all a real wall. A wall that wants to conquer Wimbledon.
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