Jule Niemeier noticed two fit issues come and move in her 3rd and last qualifying around on the 2021 Wimbledon, falling in need of a first-rate draw spot in agonising style. A yr later at the identical grass courts of All England Club, Niemeier was once a number of the ultimate 8 status in ladies’s singles.
The 23-year-old German has rolled alongside from simply her 2d Grand Slam major draw look a few months in the past into the 3rd, appearing a lot growth and penchant for the massive degree at this US Open.
Niemeier swept previous the fast-rising Chinese teenager and global No 39 Zheng Qinwen 6-4, 7-6(5) on Saturday evening for a spot within the fourth around, the place global No 1 Iga Swiatek awaits. Ranked 108, Niemeier has been scientific at Flushing Meadows, eliminating 2020 Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin and the Thirty eighth-ranked Kazakh Yulia Putintseva in directly units within the first two rounds.
As spectacular as her upward push might appear from one Wimbledon to some other, Niemeier’s enlargement chart hasn’t been as burgeoning as that of, say, in a single day big name Emma Raducanu or teenager surprise Coco Gauff. More stable than sensational.
A Borussia Dortmund fan who performed soccer as a child, Niemeier was once a top-30 early life participant with none main good fortune at the junior excursion. She became professional in 2016 and competed in her first WTA major draw fit simplest 3 years later, a first-round defeat in Nuremberg.
It was once simplest ultimate yr that Niemeier picked up tempo on the elite stage. In May, she stormed into the semi-finals of the WTA 250 tournament in Strasbourg as a qualifier. Niemeier beat Andrea Petkovic, her extra seasoned compatriot, and Shelby Rogers, her first win in opposition to a top-50 participant, earlier than dropping in 3 units to Czech 5th seed Barbora Krejcikova, the eventual winner. Two months later, Niemeier made the WTA semi-final in Hamburg, scary No 8 seed Caroline Garcia and 3rd seed Tamara Zidansek.
The large wins started cropping up. The largest although got here in the second one around of this yr’s Wimbledon, the place she beat No 2 seed Anett Kontaveit 6-4, 6-0. In the Round of 16, she brushed apart house favourite Heather Watson for a wonder quarter-final berth after a first-round go out in her maiden Slam major draw on the French Open. Niemeier broke into the top-100 ratings in May and would were positioned so much upper now had Wimbledon introduced rating issues.
“In the first couple of matches against top players, I was hesitating a bit,” Niemeier, coached by means of former German professional Christopher Kas, mentioned in London. “I thought I have to play something special. If you play those players, you just have to stay there. You have to play every point. You have to stay consistent, just focus on every point.”
Niemeier has a powerful serve and a good more potent forehand—her last two profitable issues in the second one set tiebreaker in opposition to Zheng have been each crisp on-the-rise, inside-out forehand winners—however is ever-improving in seeking to “mix it up a bit” and “be creative on court”.
Niemeier’s persisted upward push could not be timed higher from the German tennis point of view. Petkovic, 34, referred to as it quits after dropping within the first around of this US Open whilst 34-year-old Angelique Kerber, the rustic’s peak participant, withdrew from the event after saying her being pregnant. The simplest different top-100 German feminine, Tatjana Maria, may be 35.
The contemporary retirements of former peak 10 Julia Goerges and peak 20 Anna-Lena Groenefeld had sparked issues within the nation’s tennis circles a couple of looming hollow. Niemeier appears to be doing the fitting issues to fill that hole.
“It’s humorous—any person was once simply passing nowadays and mentioned, ‘Oh, there may be the brand new German peak participant, blah blah blah’,” Niemeier told WTA last year. “You just have to learn how to handle it. I mean, it’s an honor to be the one who can be one of the best players in Germany after such a good generation with Petko, Kerber and Goerges. I feel more honored than I feel pressure.”