Instead of Angelique Kerber, Jule Niemeier and Tatjana Maria are among the top 16 at Wimbledon. The surprise round of 16 finalists receive the ex-winner’s best wishes.

Angelique Kerber said goodbye to her beloved Wimbledon tournament with best wishes for Jule Niemeier and Tatjana Maria.

In the midst of her own disappointment about the third round, the 2018 winner was at least happy about the two German tennis surprises in the classic lawn. “They found a good rhythm, found their game on grass,” said Kerber after their own 4: 6, 5: 7 against Belgian Elise Mertens. “Both have nothing to lose, try to enjoy playing their game as much as possible.”

Niemeier and Maria’s path to their first round of 16 in a Grand Slam tournament could hardly be more different. For the 22-year-old Niemeier, it is her second Grand Slam tournament, while Maria, who is twelve years older, is already taking part in one of the four major tournaments for the 35th time.

The Maria family causes a sensation

At Maria, success is also a family business. Husband and trainer Charles Edouard threw kisses to her hand after the 6: 3, 7: 5 against world number five Maria Sakkari from Greece. “He is amazing. It wouldn’t be possible without him, he believes in me every second, he gives me confidence. I wouldn’t be here without him,” enthused Maria.

Her two daughters, eight-year-old Charlotte and 15-month-old Cecilia, are also present at the tournament and in childcare at the training ground during the games. “I think they jump up and down in front of the TV,” Maria said, smiling.

German duel in the quarterfinals possible

With Niemeier, her mother and brother were sitting on the court when the German tennis hopeful defeated the Ukrainian Lessia Zurenko 6: 4, 3: 6, 6: 3 in a nerve thriller and her previous success against the world number three Anett Kontaveit Estonia confirmed. “That’s the next step, that you win matches if you don’t show your best tennis,” said Niemeier about her performance.

In the next round, the Dortmund player can probably look forward to a game on one of the larger pitches against Briton Heather Watson and is by no means an outsider. For Maria, after the world-class player Sakkari, the Latvian Jelena Ostapenko faces the next difficult task. And should both continue their fairytale run in Wimbledon, there would be a German quarterfinals in the classic lawn.