Niemeier and Maria are each writing their own personal fairy tale at Wimbledon. Niemeier could crown her dream debut on Church Road with a place in the semifinals, Maria refine her career with the best result in a Grand Slam.
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Whether Boris Becker or Angelique Kerber – the two brightest stars in the German Wimbledon sky have prominent predecessors. Here is an overview of three of the most legendary German duels in Wimbledon.
1991, Finale: Michael Stich – Boris Becker 6:4, 7:6, 6:4
The mother of all German duels in Wimbledon. The finale between the cool Elmshorner and the fiery Leimener. The sympathies were clearly on Becker’s side. And what could go wrong for his fans? Who, if not the three-time champion, who reached the final for the sixth time in seven years, should take the title?
The result is known. Becker wailed: “I don’t like it anymore.” Becker cried: “Over, over!” Becker despaired: “Wimbledon final and I’m playing my worst tennis.” And stitch? Remained cool in North German – even when referee John Bryson said out of habit: “Game, Set, Match Becker.”
1993, quarterfinals: Becker – trick 7:5, 6:7, 6:7, 6:2, 6:4
Two years later, the same duel, the same end (“Game, Set, Match Becker”), but a different winner – and finally drama in the duel of the unequal lawn lovers. Before the first serve, Stich had mocked the encounter: “Our match will probably be boring. All the matches we played against each other were always easy for one or the other.”
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Not this one, this one turned into drama, fueled by the 1991 finale and Sting itself, which, well, teased. But Becker is more of the player from before, “you can look at the results books, there’s no doubt about that.” But, as Stich was to discover, it was better not to tempt Becker at the time. Not at Wimbledon. He later spoke of one of the best matches he had ever played at Wimbledon. Becker got his revenge.
2012, quarter-finals: Angelique Kerber – Sabine Lisicki 6: 3, 6: 7, 7: 5
Steffi Graf had triumphed seven times in Wimbledon – and there were already one or two good German tennis players who could have followed Graf at least to the quarter-finals. But the first and until Tuesday only German duel in the Wimbledon quarterfinals or the rounds after that took place ten years ago.
A favorite was hard to identify at the time, Lisicki was in the second week of Wimbledon for the third time, and Kerber for the first time. But she had her breakthrough in 2011 with the semifinals at the US Open. It became a thriller in which Lisicki saved three match points in the second set, led 5:3 in the third round and still lost the match. “An amazing fight,” said Barbara Rittner, national coach then and now.
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