3rd seed Anas Jabeur halted Tatjana Maria’s thrilling run in the semi-finals of the Classic Tennis Championships at Wimbledon. The Tunisian beat the 34-year-old German 6:2,3:6,6:1 on Thursday. The second in the world rankings was the first North African and Arab team to reach the final of a major tournament. The final opponent of the 27-year-old was decided between Romanian Simona Halep and Kazakh Elena Rybakina.
Maria, a mother of two children, is one of Jaber’s close friends. The Tunisian reported hard work. “It was hard to run after her balls,” Jaber said with a laugh. “She had to grill me to make up for all my running on the field.”
Immediately after the match point, she brought Maria by her side for the crowd to cheer her on. “I definitely wanted to share that moment with her at the end, she’s a huge inspiration to all the guys including me. I still can’t believe she came back with two kids and she made it.”
Maria’s daughter watched the match from the day care center
Maria went back to her usual pre-match routine. She visited Center Court with her daughter Charlotte in the morning, and the eight-year-old continued the game as usual from the facility’s childcare. “We don’t want to change anything,” Maria said. “She keeps her fingers crossed for me and you watch it there on TV. It’s a match like everyone else for her, so we leave it like that.”
The fact that it wasn’t a normal match for both players became apparent in the early stages. As usual, Maria relied on her unconventional style of playing with many inverted balls on the forehand as well, Jaber participated in the slide duel, and the first match lasted eight minutes.
Jaber allowed Maria to run with clean stop balls and slowly increased the pace. Ice cold, she showed Maria the limits and converted the first set point after just 38 minutes through a foul by her opponent. In the second set, Maria fought 6:3, but in the decisive round, Jaber took the early break and could not stop it, quickly advanced 4:0 and did not let the match withdraw.
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