Tatjana Maria hopes the Wimbledon race can change attitudes towards sports moms

Tatjana Maria is pleased that her run to the round of 16 at Wimbledon has kept her eldest daughter Charlotte happy, but she also hopes to change attitudes on the WTA tour about motherhood with her success at SW19.

A superb 6-3, 7-5 win over fifth seed Maria Sakkari on Friday earned the German a maiden appearance in the fourth round of a grand slam despite having only given birth this past April.

Maria has Charlotte and youngest daughter Cecilia at the All England Club for the first time and joked that the pressure of keeping her children in the world’s best daycare is taking the 34-year-old ahead of Sunday’s date with Jelena Ostapenko.

“It’s my first time in week two, even though we play maybe on Sunday, and we’re here at Wimbledon, my favorite tournament, so yeah, that makes it special,” she told the PA news agency.

“The girls are always happy and Charlotte is jumping after every round. Now it’s the first time I’ve won a Grand Slam match with my two kids here, so it was special too.

“Charlotte said ‘ah, it would be nice today if you beat Sakkari because I want to stay’, so I think she’s happy that she can stay at least two more days, which is good.”

This is Maria’s tenth time in the Championship main draw, but the first since 2019 and excitement for her eldest daughter has been building for weeks.

After missing Wimbledon the past two summers, eight-year-old Charlotte has enjoyed her mother’s impressive run to the fourth round more than most.

The Marias arrived in England last Wednesday to make the most of their time in SW19, but the world number 103 broke a nine-game losing streak in Grand Slam with a three-set win over Astra Sharma on day one. , before moving on. by taking down duo Sorana Cirstea and Sakkari to spark memories of their winning the Copa Colsanitas title in Bogotá in April.

She added: “We came here a little early so they had some time because you never know what happens, but I think Charlotte realizes what that means.

“For sure as a mother I know she wanted to stay and always my first thought is ‘OK Charlotte is glad we can stay longer’ and it was a bit the same in Bogotá. Every round I was happy ‘OK, more days, more days’ and it’s nice to have that kind of pressure I would say!

“(Friday) I told her this morning that you know we’ve been here for a long time on the case and now I’m glad we’re staying longer.

“If you ask her is she happy that I won or is she super happy that I stayed? I think it’s the same and especially at the Grand Slams because of the day care and it was the same for Bogotá.”

Ostapenko, the 12th seed, is between Maria and a spot in the Wimbledon quarter-finals and the pair will meet after they faced off in doubles on Thursday.

Ostapenko has already knocked out a mother in SW19 in the Yanina Wickmayer undercard and the departure of Serena Williams in the first round means Maria is the last mother in the women’s draw.

“Now maybe more people are listening to me than before because I’m in the bottom 16, but you know in the beginning, when you come back as a mother, it’s not so easy to get help,” Maria explained.

“People are always seeing that when you have a family, ‘Oh, okay, they’ve got a kid and that’s it’, but I think it’s important to say especially now and show them that even if you have a kid, you can come back. and have a career.

“It’s important that all companies, the WTA, the sponsors also look at this a little bit.

“I think we’re getting more and more moms on tour. Even Yanina Wickmayer was here, she qualified for the main draw and we are more and more.

“It’s super important that we try to change that mindset to help moms and the next generation. It’s super important to have a family and something for after your career, so it’s important for the future to be able to bring kids on tour.”

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