SYou now know what the inside of the huge bowl looks like; During two training sessions at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, Jule Niemeier gained an impression of the dimensions of the world’s largest tennis stadium. It was sort of part of the viewing schedule at her first US Open and like everyone who sees the thing for the first time, she was deeply impressed.
Seen from the blue ground, one has the impression of being quite small and alone in the big tennis world, but of course it is by no means small and alone. After her debut at Wimbledon, which was as remarkable as it was surprising, where she ended up in the quarter-finals with Tatjana Maria, the Dortmund player is now in round three in New York and is also the last of originally eight German players in singles.
Well prepared for New York
So far things have been going well for them. Winning round one over 2020 Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin counted double, so to speak. On the one hand because the American is a strong and unpredictable opponent, but on the other hand because she felt that with this victory she could confirm her success in Wimbledon a little bit.
It is not uncommon for a first major success to lead to a certain degree of uncertainty and questions. Can I do that again next time? Does everyone now expect me to do it again? But she says it wasn’t like that in the weeks after Wimbledon, she didn’t have time for that. The schedule might even have been a little crowded, but when she arrived in the US she felt well prepared and looking forward to her first US Open appearance.
“I knew it could be poisonous”
In the second game she easily solved the task against Julia Putintseva from Kazakhstan after an early deficit and won 6:4, 6:3. It was a hot day and Putintseva’s goons flew quite a bit, but these goons are used to heartache.
“I knew she could be poisonous,” said Jule Niemeier afterwards, “but I think she was pretty calm for her circumstances today. No problem. I wasn’t impressed that I got a break right away because I thought she played very well in the game. I thought about what can I do better, what is the plan, tried to implement it and it worked very well.”
With that second-round win, she moved up a few spots in the world rankings again and is now the second-best German player behind Angelique Kerber. In principle, however, comparisons are irrelevant. Everyone writes their own story, Jule Niemeier thinks, and she herself tries to gain experience at the beginning of her career, bring in routine and absorb everything that is available in terms of knowledge and experiences.
Now against Zheng Qinwen
So far everything is fine in New York, but of course it won’t get any easier. Saturday’s (21.35 CEST on Eurosport) round three will see a player on the other side who is four years younger than herself at 19 and has already garnered a lot of attention this year, Zheng Qinwen.
From a joint encounter at the beginning of the year in Australia, Jule Niemeier knows what to expect in the game against the Chinese, who is ranked 39th in the world. “She is a very, very good player with a heavy forehand who can play very quickly.”
This game will get her closer to the bigger places at Flushing Meadows and she’s looking forward to that. It was at Wimbledon that she realized how much she enjoys crowded stadiums and how much fun she enjoys playing on the big stage against big-name competitors.
If she wins on Saturday, things could continue in exactly the same vein, perhaps with a match against women’s tennis and US Open number one Iga Swiatek. But one thing at a time and keep calm; Jule Niemeier has done pretty well with this plan so far.