Jule Niemeier dropped the bat, clutched her head in disbelief and cried out her joy. The 22-year-old from Dortmund defeated Anett Kontaveit from Estonia, third in the tennis world rankings, with a very strong performance at the grass classic in Wimbledon and celebrated a sensation. Niemeier needed just 58 minutes for the 6:4, 6:0 and entry into the third round.
“I’m speechless to be honest. Winning the game on Court 1 at Wimbledon is a great feeling,” said Niemeier on the court. “It’s one of the best matches I’ve ever played. I was pretty nervous before the game.”
“I love playing on grass”
In her first duel with a top ten player, Niemeier dominated her number two opponent after a balanced start. For her greatest success in a Grand Slam, Niemeier collects more than 138,000 euros and now meets Anhelina Kalinina or Lessia Zurenko from Ukraine. “I love playing on grass,” said Niemeier. “It’s a special surface, it suits my game, I love it.”
National coach Barbara Rittner should feel confirmed, she has had Niemeier on her list for a long time, not only for the time after the “golden generation” around Angelique Kerber. “Jule has all the weapons for a top player. I trust her to be in the top 20 in the world,” Rittner told WDR and praised Niemeier’s game intelligence and “incredible hand”.
Rittner attributes the fact that the breakthrough came a few years later than expected to injuries and the pandemic. In addition, Niemeier made provisions and passed her Abitur. In the meantime, however, she only bets on the tennis card. Last year she narrowly missed her first leap into the Wimbledon main draw. After the French Open a month ago, she is now only the second time at a Grand Slam.
The world rankings-97. showed no nerves from the start in the second largest Wimbledon stadium against Kontaveit. A backhand error by the Estonian coached by Torben Beltz brought Niemeier the break to 3:2. She kept the lead with overview and wit and used her second set ball after 32 minutes with a finely placed long forehand.
Kontaveit got nervous and conceded another break due to a double fault right at the beginning of the second set. The Estonian, who had never made it past the third round at Wimbledon, was completely impressed. Niemeier pulled away easily and mercilessly exploited her opponent’s weaknesses. After another mistake by Kontaveit, the coup was complete.
Keep going without a fight
Tatjana Maria also surprised in the second round of Wimbledon. The mother-of-two beat 26th-seeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-3, 1-6, 7-5, equaling her best result at the All England Club. In 2015, Maria reached the third round for the first time. The 34-year-old was already proud of her “first Grand Slam victory” with two children after her opening victory. In April 2021 she gave birth to her second daughter and quickly reconnected after the birth.
Almost at the same time, tennis pro Oscar Otte reached the third round after only 15 minutes of play. His opponent Christian Harrison from the USA already gave up in the first set when the score was 3:1 from Otte’s point of view. Maximilian Marterer, qualifier from Nuremberg, lost against Frances Tiafoe (USA/No. 23) 2: 6, 2: 6, 6: 7 (3: 7).
Without the missing Olympic champion Alexander Zverev, who was injured, Otte is the only German player to reach the third round for men. There he gets to deal with the Spanish young star Carlos Alcaraz or Tallon Griekspoor from the Netherlands.