Ons Jabeur and Tatjana Maria break new ground with Wimbledon quarter-final victories

Date:


The semi-final lineup has been decided for the bottom half of the women’s draw at Wimbledon, with Ons Jabeur and Tatjana Maria breaking new ground by making their first-ever last-four appearances at a Grand Slam. Mother-of-two Maria battled back to beat compatriot Jule Niemeier 4-6 6-2 7-5 in an all-German final before third seed Jabeur defeated Marie Bouzkova in another comeback victory 3-6 6-1 6-2.

Maria and Niemeier were first up on Court 1 in an all-German clash of two surprise quarter-finalists. Maria had never reached the second week of a Major and was still on the comeback from the birth of her second child last year, while Niemeier was playing just her second-ever Grand Slam main draw after qualifying for the recent French Open. 

It was the 22-year-old who took the first set as she broke in the opening game and continued to hold for a 6-4 lead before breaking in the opening game of the second to put herself within touching distance of a maiden Grand Slam semi-final. But she won just one more game in the second as the world No 103 broke three times to take it 6-2 and force a decider.

The Wimbledon debutant pounced first in the third set, breaking for a 3-2 lead following a series of unforced errors from her opponent and coming through a tight service game to back it up for 4-2. But she dropped the next three games as the 34-year-old broke back and took a 5-4 lead. Niemeier was unable to capitalise on a break point at 5-5 to serve for the match and paid the price as Maria broke to win 4-6 6-2 7-5 in two hours and 18 minutes before the pair embraced at the net.

JUST IN: Novak Djokovic gave himself a ‘pep talk in the mirror’ before comeback

It meant the elder German booked her place in a maiden Grand Slam semi-final at the age of 34, just 15 months after giving birth to her second daughter. “I have goosebumps everywhere,” Maria said in an emotional on-court interview. “It was such a tough match against Jule, she is from my country Germany. I think today we made Germany really proud after our match.” Touching on her journey back from childbirth, she added: “It’s a dream to live this with my family, with my two little girls. One year ago I just gave birth almost. It’s crazy.” 

And her opponent in Thursday’s women’s semi-final day will be Jabeur after she beat Bouzkova on Centre Court as she followed in the footsteps of Novak Djokovic in the previous mtch, as he completed a five-set comeback in the men’s quarters. It was the third seed who was broken first, saving the first break point with a drop shot at the end of a thrilling exchange before finding herself 2-3 down. The Tunisian had a chance to break back at 3-4 but failed to convert either of her break points, instead finding herself serving to say in the first set.

Having led 40-0, Jabeur threw in a double fault and two errors to get broken and gift the world No 66 the first set 6-3 after 43 minutes. But she didn’t let that bother her at the start of the second set as she opened with a break of the Bouzkova serve, earning a huge applause from the crowd. After failing to convert another break point in the Czech’s next service game, Jabeur won four in a row to take the second 6-1 and attempt to follow Maria into the semi-finals with her own comeback victory.

DON’T MISS
Wimbledon star copies Kyrgios and produces tweener ace on match point
Djokovic sends Tsitsipas stern message after joking with Kyrgios
Nadal’s Wimbledon practice showed three things ahead of Fritz rematch

It was a fifth game in a row for the 27-year-old as she held to open the third, and Bouzkova suddenly found herself facing yet another break point fom 40-0 up, losing five points in a row to gift Jabeur her sixth successive game for a moral bagel and an early lead in the decider. The Tunisian kept her streak up, breaking again for a 4-0 lead – her eighth game in a row.

But the 23-year-old fought back to break and get herself on the board at 1-4. Jabeur refused to allow her opponent any momentum, breaking straight back to serve for a maiden Grand Slam semi-final, booking her spot in the last-four with a 3-6 6-1 6-2 victory in an hour and X minutes.

Jabeur and Maria will face off in Thursday’s semi-final. Tomorrow, Simona Halep and Amanda Anisimova will face off on Centre Court for the chance to join them in the last-four, while Elena Rybakina and Ajla Tomljanovic will also be vying to book a place in the semis.



LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

Subscribe

Popular

More like this
Related

Serena Williams breaks down in tears with emotional goodbye after final Toronto match

Serena Williams broke down in tears as she...

Prey 2 may kill off Naru after Predator 2 reveal

WARNING: This article contains full spoilers for Prey.Prey...

Rory McIlroy savagely trolls LIV Golf lawyer with snappy answer after PGA win ruling

The Northern Irishman smiled after his response, but...

Nick Kyrgios sends three-word message to sick mum after beating world No 1 Daniil Medvedev

After winning the Citi Open, Kyrgios said that...