By KEN MAGUIRE, AP Sports Writer
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Tatjana Maria pulled off another upset at Wimbledon to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the age of 34 after beating Jelena Ostapenko on Sunday.
She’ll face not another high-seeded opponent but 22-year-old Jule Niemeier, who is making her All England Club debut, in an all-German showdown for a place in the semifinals.
Heading into the second week at Wimbledon, only two of the top 15 seeds remain in the women’s draw, which has just one Grand Slam champion — Simona Halep — left.
Maria eliminated 2017 French Open champion Ostapenko 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 on No. 1 Court in the fourth round after saving two match points in the second set against her 12th-seeded opponent.
“I always believed that at one point I can show what I can do,” said the 103rd-ranked Maria, who ousted fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari in the third round. “I’m happy that today, I mean, I came back when I was down, so I’m proud of myself.”
Top-ranked Iga Swiatek is also out of the picture, the two-time French Open champion having lost to Alize Cornet of France in straight sets on Saturday.
Halep is the last Grand Slam champion standing on the women’s side. The 16th-seeded Romanian won at Wimbledon in 2019 and at the French Open the year before that. She faces fourth-seeded Paula Badosa in the fourth round on Monday.
In the men’s draw, Jannik Sinner beat fifth-seeded Carlos Alcaraz 6-1, 6-4, 6-7 (8), 6-3 on Centre Court. The 10th-seeded Italian will play either three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic or Tim van Rijthoven for a spot in the semifinals.
“For me, I didn’t expect it because I wasn’t playing so well on grass,” Sinner said of reaching first Wimbledon quarterfinal.
Two American men were eliminated. David Goffin of Belgium defeated 23rd-seeded Frances Tiafoe 7-6 (3), 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 to set up a quarterfinal match against ninth-seeded Cameron Norrie, who advanced with a 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Tommy Paul.
The 97th-ranked Niemeier advanced by beating Heather Watson 6-2, 6-4 on Centre Court in just her second Grand Slam tournament. The German had eliminated second-seeded Anett Kontaveit in the second round.
“I came here, I just wanted to win my first round after losing in Paris,” said Niemeier, who lost in the first round at Roland Garros. “Now, being in the quarterfinal in Wimbledon, I don’t know, I’m speechless. It just feels not real. Yeah, I’m just so happy.”
Shortly before Roger Federer and other greats took part in a ceremony marking the centenary of Centre Court, Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal by beating Caroline Garcia of France 7-5, 6-2 as the traditional day of rest on the middle Sunday at the All England Club is no more.
The 23-year-old Bouzkova will next face either third-seeded Ons Jabeur or Elise Mertens for a place in the last four.
“There’s no reason why not to keep this going. Kind of believing in myself right now,” said Bouzkova, who withdrew from the French Open after testing positive for COVID-19. “Yeah, I just going to go all out again in the quarterfinals.”
Maria, the oldest woman left in the singles draw, said she’s been inspired by her two young daughters.
“I’m now in the quarterfinal of Wimbledon, so it’s really amazing for me,” she said. “This means also that you always have to keep going. Doesn’t matter how old you are, doesn’t matter how many kids you have, you just have to keep going and to believe in yourself.”
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