Ostapenko Blows MPs, All-Germany QF Set At Wimbledon; Halep v Badosa
Jelena Ostapenko blew a break lead and two match points in the second set in a tough loss to German veteran Tatjana Maria 5-7, 7-5, 7-5.
Ostapenko led 4-1 in the second and then had two points to close it out on Maria’s serve at 4-5 but couldn’t do so. Maria ran off three straight games and then overcame another break deficit in the third to win reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the age of 34.
Maria, a mother of two, had never been past the third round at a Grand Slam until this week.
“There’s always the belief that I can do it. I mean, that’s why I came back after the first one. It’s why I came back after the second one. If not, if I don’t believe I can do these things, then I would not be here. So there’s always this believing and keep going and improving and trying my best at the end,” Maria said.
“It’s also really hard work. It’s not coming from nowhere, let’s say. We are outside on the court every day. We are working. Yeah, like I said, we are trying to improve. But maybe in myself there’s this feeling now, OK, I can do it, I can go for it. Sometimes little things can change a whole match. It’s really little parts.”
Ostapenko, a former Wimbledon semifinalist, was stunned she lost to someone so “lucky”.
“I thought it was my match,” Ostapenko said. “I had to win it and she got just so lucky in some moments so she could come back. I felt I was the player who had to win this match today.
“I just made mistakes. She just collected all my mistakes, unforced errors, and that’s how she won today.”
Maria moves on to meet countrywoman Jule Niemeier. The 22-year-old Neimeier in her first Wimbledon continued to impress ending the hopes of Heather Watson 6-2, 6-4 in the opening match on Centre Court.
“I just want to say sorry that I had to kick out a British player today,” Niemeier told the crowd.
“The atmosphere was incredible. I was nervous, but as soon as I stepped on the court I felt pretty comfortable. I just tried to focus on my game, tried to focus to play point by point and it went well.
“I’m super proud of myself. Coming out here again and performing, without actually missing that many balls is pretty good, so I’m really happy with my performance today.”
Neimeier, in just her second Grand Slam, upset Anett Kontaveit in the second round. Watson was the last British woman.
“Immediately after walking off the court, I was obviously extremely disappointed. I’ve taken every match here as a big opportunity and managed to take advantage of it until today,” said Watson.
“But credit to my opponent. I felt like she played really well, especially in that first set. Very flawless tennis. I actually was thinking at the end of the first set trying to think of unforced errors she’d hit, and I could only think of two.”
Marie Bouzkova began the week never having made a Grand Slam third round, but the Czech 23-year-old has taken advantage of the upsets and made it all the way to the quarters topping Caroline Garcia today 7-5, 6-4.
“If you would tell me before the tournament started I would be in the quarters, I probably wouldn’t believe you,” Bouzkova said. “Since first match, [it] has been really tough journey for me. I have been feeling really many emotions. Just to be now in the quarters, it’s something very special for me.”
Bouzkova will now face Ons Jabeur. The world No. 2 and new tournament favorite outlasted Elise Mertens 7-6(9), 6-4 to return to the quarterfinals. Jabeur saved five set points in the first set.
Tomorrow, 2019 champion Simona Halep will look to run her Wimbledon win streak to 11 against Spanish No. 1 Paula Badosa. Halep won their only meeting in May on the Madrid clay. Badosa just upset Petra Kvitova in the last round.
Fresh off her Coco Gauff upset, Amanda Anisimova takes on the giant-killing Harmony Tan.
Former French quarterfinalists Elena Rybakina battles Petra Martic and Alize Cornet meets Ajla Tomljanovic in a rematch of the Australian’s win last year.
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