Tatjana Maria is in the round of 16 for the first time in a Grand Slam tournament. The 34-year-old sees her family as an important factor. “The next champion” is already training at your side.

Husband and trainer Charles-Edouard cheers in the stands, daughter Charlotte cheers in front of the television at the training facility. Tatjana Maria’s extraordinary success at Wimbledon is also a very special family story.

In the 35th attempt, the 34-year-old is in the round of 16 for the first time in her long career in a Grand Slam tournament – and sees her loved ones and her own role as a mother of two as an important factor.

“Maybe you think a little differently as a mom, my focus is on my children,” reported Maria after her surprising third-round success against world number five Maria Sakkari from Greece. “I’ll go over there later, get my kids from childcare and be the mom. Nothing has changed for them, whether I win or lose.”

Daughter Charlotte is also on the pitch

For the first time after the birth of her second daughter Cecilia 15 months ago, Maria is back playing in the classic lawn and is better than ever. “So proud of you,” congratulated former finalist Sabine Lisicki on the success. “So strong Tadde,” wrote the German women’s boss Barbara Rittner to Maria, who was also active in the DTB selection for many years.

The older daughter Charlotte has already taken over her mother’s sporting passion. On the day of the round of 16, Charlotte initially had indoor training at half past eight, after which her mother got involved in her game.

When Maria trains at Wimbledon, Charlotte also likes to scurry around the court with her racket. World number two Ons Jabeur loves to play with the eight-year-old, says Maria and raves about her daughter: “She will be the next champion.”

Maria surprises with unmodern playing style

Maria herself unnerves her opponents with her unconventional style of play, which has actually gone out of fashion in modern tennis. She plays a lot of undercut balls with both the backhand and the forehand, which bounce off flat, especially on grass. “I know that everyone is stressed even before the match,” she says with a laugh. “That’s why it’s an advantage for me, especially here on grass, that I know that I can definitely hurt and that everyone treats me as an opponent with respect.”

With these slice balls, Maria likes to quickly advance to the net to build up pressure when the opponent serves. It will be exciting in the round of 16 to see how the extremely aggressive former French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko from Latvia, who is seeded number twelve, will cope.

Maria is an advocate for family rights

Her husband, who also coaches Maria, will plan the tactics for the round of 16 as usual. Her influence on the tennis scene goes beyond her sporting success. The player, who was born in Bad Saulgau and who also talks to neighbor Serena Williams about the children in Florida, has long been committed to more rights for mothers and families on the tour.

Most recently, she requested better support from the WTA and separate rules for a return to the tour. However, there has been no response from the women’s professional organization so far. “It’s time to help and accommodate mothers more,” she said again.

Mary knows how to fight. 14 years ago, a thrombosis on the leg was discovered, it was in mortal danger for some time. Her father, who had accompanied her to tournaments, died a little later. “A few things happened to me that automatically make you stronger,” said Maria on Sky about her strokes of fate, “and if you have children, you have to be strong too.”