Reaching the US Open Round of 16: Now a Herculean task awaits Niemeier

Reached the US Open round of 16
Now a Herculean task awaits Niemeier

Jule Niemeier causes a sensation on her major debut on the hard court. The 23-year-old won a two-set win at the US Open against the better seeded Chinese Zheng Qinwen. However, her next opponent might be more difficult to crack.

Jule Niemeier is increasingly aiming for a real high at the US Open: The 23-year-old from Dortmund has reached the round of 16 in New York. The Wimbledon quarter-finalist stopped the Chinese Zheng Qinwen, who was around three years her junior, in the third round 6: 4, 7: 6 (7: 5) and is now facing a Herculean task.

A duel with the world number one and title contender Iga Swiatek from Poland awaits Niemeier. She confirmed her performance from Wimbledon with the next concentrated performance, when it was only against Tatjana Maria and did surprisingly well in her major debut on hard court. It is already clear that Niemeier will significantly improve on her previous world ranking of 108.

This year, Niemeier succeeds in depositing her business card with the majors. The powerful Westphalian is Germany’s greatest hope at the beginning of a new phase in German women’s tennis, in which Angelique Kerber (baby break) and Andrea Petkovic (end of career) will be missing.

Patience pays off

Niemeier had to wait a long time for the start of the match against Zheng, number 39 in the world rankings, who had reached the third round of the third Grand Slam in a row. All previous encounters were completed shortly before 9 p.m. local time. Niemeier felt her way into the match and then took control with a strong service, scoring four aces in the first set.

“Above all, staying variable is very important to me,” her trainer Christopher Kas said before the duel, and Niemeier varied the serve and occasionally threw in a slice. She had fought her way into the third round with concentrated performances against the former Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin and the hot-headed Kazakh Julia Putinzewa and also earned the set lead against Zheng.

In the second round, Zheng pulled away to 4:1, Niemeier remained patient and equalized, but missed break chances to make it 5:4. A little later, with strong nerves, she secured the exciting duel with Swiatek in the tie-break.

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