Tatjana Maria’s fairytale run at Wimbledon is over. Despite a strong fight, the 34-year-old missed out on a sensational place in the final against her good friend Ons Jabeur. Nevertheless, it was a “super two weeks”.
Tatjana Maria got the big spotlight once again. Her good friend Ons Jabeur pulled the 34-year-old by the elbow into the middle of the court, pointed her finger at her and encouraged the audience to give her an ovation. With kisses on her hand to the fans, Maria then took her leave of Centre Court after a heartfelt hug. Despite another energetic performance, the mother of two missed out on the next Wimbledon fairytale and a sensational first appearance in a Grand Slam final.
“It was really nice of her to want to celebrate with me, even though it was actually her moment,” Maria said of the touching scene. “When you lose a match, you still feel disappointed at first and think about what you could have done better. But I can still be proud of what I did in a fortnight of Wimbledon.”
Maria “a great inspiration”
After 1:43 hours, the mother of two was deservedly beaten 2:6, 6:3, 1:6 by world number two Jabeur of Tunisia in the semi-finals on Thursday. “It was difficult to chase her balls. She has to grill for me to make up for all my running around the court,” Jabeur said with a laugh. After the match, she got Maria next to her to give her the due cheers from the crowd. “I definitely wanted to share that moment with her at the end, she is such a great inspiration to all the players including me. I still can’t believe she came back with two kids and did this.”
Maria will collect the equivalent of €626,000 for the biggest win of her career. The surprise of the tournament, however, failed to become the sixth German tennis player to reach the Wimbledon final after Cilly Aussem, Hilde Krahwinkel, Steffi Graf, Sabine Lisicki and Angelique Kerber. “I try to take the positive out of it and keep believing in myself. I think there is still a lot possible,” Maria said. Before the match, she had learned that she had become an aunt again. “Of course, I am overjoyed for my brother that the second child was born healthy today,” she said. “Of course, that also makes me proud.”
Jabeur meets Rybakina
Maria is good friends with Jabeur, and the Tunisian loves playing with daughters Charlotte and Cecilia. By reaching the final, the 27-year-old is the first Arab tennis professional to reach a Grand Slam final. Jabeur will face Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in the final, a surprisingly clear 6-3, 6-3 winner over former champion Simona Halep of Romania.
“In the end Ons Jabeur was the better player, you have to acknowledge that. It was another great fight, she came back, tried everything,” women’s national coach Barbara Rittner told dpa about Maria’s performance. “It was a great semi-final, with all the finesse. All in all, it was a super two weeks from her. Tennis Germany is proud of Tatjana Maria, the way she represented Germany.”
A “match like any other” for her daughter
With a broad smile, Maria walked across the court before the first point, the two friends waving at the audience a few steps apart. Maria went back to her usual routines beforehand. She visited Centre Court with her daughter Charlotte in the morning, but the eight-year-old followed the match as usual from the childcare centre. “We don’t want to change anything,” Maria said before the match. “She’s rooting for me there and watching it there on the TV. For her, it’s a match like any other, so we’ll leave it that way.”