INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – When you’re a tennis player and a mom – and your husband is your coach, and you’re not in that private nanny territory – you have to multitask.
That’s been the way for years now for Tatjana Maria and her husband Charles.
They’ve brought daughter Charlotte, now nearly 5 1/2, to a lot of tennis courts in a lot of countries.
And the formula seems to be working.
Maria (née Malek) hit the top 50 for the first time in her career just two years ago, when she was nearly 30.
At 31, she is playing the best tennis of her career. She defeated both Camila Giorgi and Sloane Stephens on her way to the fourth round in Miami last week.
And she played a heck of a match, slicing and dicing and using the entire court, before finally falling to Madison Keys in a really good one Wednesday night in Charleston.
Sometimes, the kid needs a scratch
But on the practice court, sometimes Maria has to multitask.
Here she is practicing with Maria Sakkari last month at Indian Wells.
And as she and her husband/coach Charles are working on some things, Maria had to take a few quick breaks.
Charlotte had a bug bite. And she needed a scratch.
Piece of cake.
Here’s what it looked like.
Flashback to Melbourne
Maria played through Wimbledon in 2013, when she’d have been about five months pregnant. Her ranking was No. 115 then.
She returned in early April, 2014 in Bógota, when Charlotte was just four months old. By then, the ranking had dropped to No. 441.
Maria played in Colombia, Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada, Japan and Mexico in 2014, mostly at smaller $25,000 and $50,000 events and sometimes at bigger events with a protected ranking, to get herself close to the top 200 by year’s end.
They grow up so fast. Here are the Maria, with Charlotte (who had just turned one) on the practice courts at the Australian Open in 2015.