Munich/London – Rod Laver and Billie Jean King kept sticking their heads together excitedly on the venerable Center Court in Wimbledon. Did they whisper about this young German woman, who continued to cause a sensation down there on the sacred lawn of this traditional tournament? Quite possible!
Because Jule Niemeier (2 Grand Slam participations) played in front of the eyes of these two tennis legends and thousands of equally astonished tennis fans with a smooth two-set win against Brit Heather Watson in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon. And that at the age of only 22 and at her very first appearance in London. A fairy tale.
But it’s not just Niemeier who causes big eyes with her performances. Another German is also almost fabulous and in impressive form in England: Tatjana Maria (34 Grand Slam participations). The mother of two defeated Jelena Ostapenko in a dramatic match in her round of 16, made it into the quarter-finals and made the German duel against Niemeier in the round of the last eight players (on Tuesday from 2:00 p.m. in the live ticker on ran.de) Perfect.
“I think it’s super cool that the two meet in the Wimbledon quarter-finals,” said Fed Cup team boss Rainer Schüttler in an interview ran.
“However, that has already been indicated with Jule, for example, in the past few weeks. She played really well there too and only just lost out against big names like Sloane Stephens or Belinda Bencic. And now the work with her coach Christopher Kas is finally working Fruits. And Tatjana’s story is also really cool, how she came back after the birth of her second child and is now causing a sensation with her incredible joy of playing and the unorthodox way of playing in Wimbledon.”
Before the big game of the two German tennis women makes ran together with Schüttler and DTB national coach Barbara Rittner ran-Check:
Strengths and weaknesses
“Jule’s game is much more powerful and powerful overall,” says Rittner. “When I serve, I both look up the same, although Tatjana is much smaller, but her technique makes up for it. Jule has a lot more power in the baseline strokes. Tatjana has this unbelievable finesse on both sides. In terms of play and this enormous power, Rolling over someone in a match is of course Jule in front. But Tatjana has already shown impressively against Jelena Ostapenko that she can really drive a player mad, even though she plays much more powerfully than she does.”
The women’s national coach is also certain that “lawn is the best surface for both of them”. And further: “Jule also plays very well and likes to play on sand, Tatjana also shows her solid game on all other surfaces. Tatjana’s somewhat harmless, less pressured game becomes incredibly dangerous due to the slice on grass. But Jule has the power to get on Playing incredibly dominant tennis on grass. She can compete with any player in the world on grass with her tennis.” A big praise.
Nevertheless, Rittner also raises a warning finger in the direction of Niemeier: “Jule has to play moderately and not overpace because Tatjana, as an opponent, plays back the sixth or seventh slice. She will definitely have to go to the net a lot.”
Shaker sees it similarly. “Jule can sometimes hit the ground at over 180 km/h – that’s really very fast and powerful for a woman. In general, her style of play reminds me a little of Ashley Barty, who was able to exert incredible pressure with every punch.”
And the German Fed Cup team boss: “On the other hand, Tatjana’s unorthodox game, as already mentioned, repeatedly throws in a slice – even with the forehand – and thus takes the opponent’s pace out. She has to do it again and again “Starting from scratch and working hard for her shots. Add to that her strong net game, the very good serve and above all her incredible mobility. It’s unbelievable how many balls she still gets. Not to mention her playing friends. So I’m expecting a very interesting one duel and I’m curious to see who gets along better with which style of play.”
“In spite of all the strong nerves that Jule surprisingly showed on her debut, you have to see the advantage in Tatjana, if only because of her much greater experience. She has been on the tour for 15 years, although she has never played a quarter-final at a Grand Slam, but is even more in the position: ‘I have nothing to lose, but I have a great chance of making it to the semi-finals,'” says Rittner.
“I’m very curious to see how Jule will deal with the situation. The role of favorite puts you and especially your head in a difficult situation anyway. But overall, both are mental – also with what they’ve done at Wimbledon so far this year have – very strong. Both have a good team around them, which will set them up well. Both are very stable there.”
And Schüttler also believes that “both can play totally free”. “Jule could have been nervous during her game against Briton Heather Watson and thus the entire British audience on Center Court, but she played the match very concentrated. She is just extremely hungry and last but not least the win against number two of the world rankings, Anett Kontaveit, has given her enormous self-confidence. And Tatjana is simply happy with her life, she is happy that her children are with her in London and you can see exactly this enormous joy in playing on the pitch. She will ultimately be the same go into the match with a lot of self-confidence like Jule.”
“Of course, Jule has the more focused tennis environment. Everything is fully geared to tennis, while Tatjana is on the road with her husband and two children as a family business – but she is completely at peace, completely satisfied and balanced,” says Rittner.
“Both have completely different signs, have gone different ways. At the age of 22, Jule found her team with whom she would like to work for a few years and can and will certainly work successfully. Tatjana has found her way with a family, two children and is completely with himself. So they are both well positioned, “explains Rittner and thus gives both Niemeier and Maria an extremely good testimony when it comes to the environment.
“Jule’s career is just beginning. This is a huge opportunity – perhaps the greatest of her career, to move straight into a Grand Slam semi-final,” said Rittner. “However, Tatjana Maria’s way of playing makes you think because she runs so much and keeps using slice balls. So you have to keep getting under the ball and playing patiently every time. There’s a lot of time to think about that To make a match. Jule has never had such an opponent in this form. For me, it’s a totally open duel with slight experience advantages for Tatjana.”
Rittner sees the mother of two in the duel with Niemeier by a hair’s breadth. But: “If she wants to win the match, then she has to do it again through her experience. Like against Ostapenko. She always has to get the best out of the situation. That’s what makes her impressive at this tournament so far. For Jule, the question is, Whether this light-heartedness, this ‘putting your own game on the pitch at the decisive moment’, which she has shown against Kontaveit or Watson, will also work in a quarter-final at Wimbledon. I’m very excited about that.”
So Schüttler is expecting a highly interesting, Rittner in turn an exciting, balanced German duel in the women’s quarter-finals in Wimbledon – albeit with slight advantages for the more experienced Tatjana Maria. At least when it comes to Rittner.
It remains to be seen what will prevail in the end: Niemeier’s youthful carefree attitude or the experience of the 34-year-old stress-tested mother of two from Bad Saulgau.
One thing is certain: A German player will definitely make it into the semi-finals of Wimbledon. Just like Angelique Kerber last year. She failed there at the eventual tournament winner Ashley Barty. Joy among the German tennis fans is guaranteed.
Niemeier against Maria – let’s get started…
Dominik Hechler / Alice Jo Tietje
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