Mum-of-two Tatjana Maria sets up semi-final with close friend Ons Jabeur

Jabeur set up a meeting with her “barbeque buddy” after a hard-fought victory over Marie Bouzkova.

Germany’s Tatjana Maria celebrates after reaching the semi-finals of Wimbledon (Zac Goodwin/PA)
Germany’s Tatjana Maria celebrates after reaching the semi-finals of Wimbledon (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Tatjana Maria will stick to the winning formula behind her “crazy” run to the Wimbledon last four after her remarkable journey took another step into the unknown on Tuesday.

A 4-6 6-2 7-5 win over compatriot Jule Niemeier in two hours and 17 minutes on Court One put the German into the All England Club semi-finals where she will take on “barbeque buddy” Ons Jabeur on Thursday.

Maria only gave birth to youngest daughter Cecilia last April but marched into a first grand slam semi-final on her 35th appearance in the main draw of a major tournament.

Despite the enormity of her last eight encounter with Niemeier, the 34-year-old kept to the same routine that has served her well in SW19 so far of practising with oldest child Charlotte in the morning before attention turned to her all-German encounter.

“Yeah, everything was the same. This morning we arrived at 8.30am indoors and Charlotte, she had a practice,” Maria said.

“Outside of the court, I mean, nothing changes for me for a moment, so I try to keep this going, everything the same. We keep going even if I play semi-finals.

“I think for me that’s the most important in my life, to be a mum of my two kids. Nothing will change this. I’m here, yeah, I’m in the semi-final of Wimbledon, it’s crazy, but I’m still a mum.

“After this (press conference) I will go and I will see my kids and I will do the same thing what I do every single day. I will change her Pampers, I mean, everything normal.

“I try to keep normal as much as possible, because that was what makes me proudest is to be a mum.”

Maria had faced plenty of adversity on her run to a maiden quarter-final appearance at Wimbledon, beating seeds Sorana Cirstea, Maria Sakkari and Jelena Ostapenko in thrilling matches, and was involved in another battle on Tuesday.

Niemeier, 22, raced through the first set and broke at the start of the second but then saw the world number 103 begin her latest comeback.

It took 57 minutes for Maria to earn a first break point and even after she had forced a decider, she trailed 4-2 before slicing her way into the last four where Jabeur – who she referred to as “Aunt Ons” to the German press – stands in her way.

“She is part of my family, she loves my kids and is playing with them every day,” Maria revealed.

Jabeur called Maria her “barbeque buddy” after she came through her sternest examination of the Championships so far by beating Marie Bouzkova in three sets.

Bouzkova started like a train but third seed Jabeur soon settled and a break at the start of the second set shifted the momentum.

Ons Jabeur celebrates her victory (Steven Paston/PA)

With the Tunisian’s drop shots now landing, she progressed to secure her own maiden appearance in a grand slam semi-final with a 3-6 6-1 6-1 victory.

And she joked she had already tried turning her semi-final opponent’s daughters against her.

“Obviously it’s tough to play her and I was joking with Charlotte, I was telling her, ‘are you going to support me or your mum?’ I’m trying to turn all the kids to my side, using the family,” Jabeur said with a smile.

“They are really nice. I’m really happy for her that she’s getting what she deserves. I know she struggled a lot. It’s not easy coming back after having two babies.

“It’s going to be a great match between us, a lot of respect, for sure. Maybe not friends for two hours or I don’t know how long the match will go, but we will be friends again at the end.”

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