Tatjana Maria is pleased her run to the last 16 at Wimbledon has kept oldest daughter Charlotte happy but also hopes to change attitudes on the WTA tour about motherhood with her SW19 success.
An excellent 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 only giving birth last April.
Maria has both Charlotte and youngest daughter Cecilia in attendance together at the All England Club for the first time and joked the pressure of keeping her children in the world’s best creche is driving the 34-year-old on ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Jelena Ostapenko.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 1, 2022
“It is my first time in the second week, even if we play maybe on the Sunday, and we are here in Wimbledon, my favourite tournament so, yeah, it makes it special,” she told the PA news agency.
“The girls are always happy and Charlotte is jumping after every round. Now it is the first time I won a grand slam match with my two kids here so it was also already special.
“Charlotte said ‘ah, it would be good today if you win against Sakkari because I want to stay’ so I think she’s happy she can stay at least two more days so that is nice.”
This is Maria’s 10th time in the main draw of the Championships but first since 2019 and the excitement for her eldest daughter has been building for weeks.
After missing out on Wimbledon for the last couple of summers, eight-year-old Charlotte has enjoyed her mum’s impressive run to the fourth-round more than most.
The Marias arrived in England last Wednesday in order to make the most of their time in SW19 but the world number 103 snapped a nine-match grand-slam losing streak with a three-set victory over Astra Sharma on day one, before following it up by toppling seeded duo Sorana Cirstea and Sakkari to spark memories of her Copa Colsanitas title win in Bogota back in April.
She added: “We came here a little bit earlier so they already had some time because you never know what happens but I think Charlotte realises what it means.
“For sure as a mum I know that she wanted to stay and always my first thought is ‘OK Charlotte is happy we can stay longer’ and it was a little bit the same in Bogota. Every round I was happy ‘OK more days, more days’ and it is nice to have this kind of pressure I would say!
“(Friday) morning I said to her you know we are already pretty long here in case and now I am happy we stay longer.
“If you ask her if she is happy that I win or is she super happy that she stays? I guess it is the same and especially in the grand slams because of the creche and it was the same for Bogota.”
Ostapenko, the 12th seed, stands between Maria and a place in the Wimbledon quarter-finals and the duo will be familiar with each other after they faced off in the doubles on Thursday.
Ostapenko has already knocked out one mum in SW19 in qualifier Yanina Wickmayer and Serena Williams’ first-round exit means Maria is the last parent standing in the women’s draw.
“Now maybe more people are listening to me than before because I am in the last 16 but you know at the beginning when you come back as a mum it is not so easy to get help,” Maria explained.
“People are always seeing it that when you get a family, ‘oh OK she has got a child and that is it,’ but I think it is important to say especially now and show them that even if you have a child you can come back and have a career.
“It is important for all the companies, the WTA, the sponsors to look also a little bit at this.
“I think we are getting more and more mums on the tour. Even Yanina Wickmayer was here, she qualified for the main draw and we are getting more and more.
“It is super important for us to try to change this thinking to help the mums and the next generation. It is super important to have a family and something for after your career, so it is important for the future to be able to bring kids on tour.”