At 34, Maria reaches Wimbledon semifinals for 1st time
WIMBLEDON, England - The first semi-finalist at this year's Wimbledon is the oldest woman still in the draw.
Tatjana Maria, a 34-year-old German who returned to the tour almost a year ago after the birth of her second daughter, reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her 35th appearance. She beat another German, 22-year-old Jule Niemeier, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 for first place on Tuesday.
"A year ago I just gave birth to a child," Maria said in court. "It's crazy."
Maria is making her 10th appearance at the All England Club and is only the sixth woman in the Open era to reach the semi-finals of Wimbledon after the age of 34. Her best performance so far was reaching the third round in 2015. She hasn't even made it that far in the other three major tennis tournaments.
It's not all easy this year.
Maria is ranked No. 103 in the world and was still outside the top 250 in March. Since returning from maternity leave, she has lost in the first round at the US Open, Australian Open and French Open.
That changed on the Wimbledon grass pitches.
Maria beat three seeded players in a row in her run to the quarterfinals, including Maria Sakkari, who was fifth seed, in the third round and Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open winner, in twelfth place in the fourth round.
Next, she meets either third-placed Ons Jabeur or Marie Bouzkova. These two will play for a spot in the semifinals on Center Court after the match between Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner.
“Ons is, I mean, part of our family. She loves my children,” said Maria. “It would be great to play Ons but we never know. I'm just happy that I'm in the semifinals now."
The second match on Court #1 is between Cam Norrie and David Goffin. Norrie is attempting to become only the fourth Briton to reach the Wimbledon semifinals in the Open era.
At 34, Maria reaches the semi-finals of Wimbledon for the first time and originally appeared on NBCSports.com
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