Germany’s Tatjana Maria eliminated No. 5 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-3, 7-5 in a third-round upset Friday at Wimbledon in London.
Maria, ranked No. 103 in the world, saved six of seven break points and finished the 90-minute match with just 12 unforced errors — 17 fewer than Sakkari.
A 34-year-old mother of two, just a year removed from maternity leave, Maria reached the Round of 16 at a major for the first time in her career.
“The first time in the last 16, so that’s already amazing,” Maria said in her post-match press conference. “To win against Sakkari today, it’s pretty awesome. I think I played a good match from the beginning to the end.”
Entering this week at the All England Club, Maria had not won a match in a Grand Slam main draw since 2018. She trailed 4-1 and 5-2 in the second set, then fought off two set points in the 10th game to pull even at 5-5.
Maria’s opponent in the fourth round will be No. 12 seed Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, the 2017 French Open champ and 2018 Wimbledon semifinalist.
Ostapenko rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory Friday against Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu. Ostapenko converted six of her 10 break chances and finished with 28 winners and 27 unforced errors, compared to 15 winners and 19 errors by Begu.
No. 24 Elise Mertens of Belgium advanced with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over 2018 Wimbledon champion and No. 15 Angelique Kerber of Germany. Kerber finished with nearly twice as many unforced errors as Mertens, 26 to 14.
Mertens was coming off a marathon second-round match against Hungary’s Penna Udvardy, a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5 win that spanned Wednesday night into Thursday.
“It was a very difficult match [in the] second round, losing the first set, then down two match points,” Mertens said afterward. “Playing a third set yesterday, so I kind of feel like I’m on court nonstop.
“… I think that really helped me for today, to know that even when you’re down that you can come back, mentally being tough.”
Mertens next faces No. 3 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, who faced little trouble in a 6-2, 6-3 defeat of France’s Diane Parry.
France’s Carolina Garcia had better luck, firing 16 aces in a 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) win against No. 33 Shuai Zhang of China. Garcia reached the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time since 2017.
Other winners Friday included Great Britain’s Heather Watson, Germany’s Jule Niemeier and the Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova, who cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 win over 28th-seeded American Alison Riske.
–Field Level Media