Paszek left out by Wozniacki

2013 AEGON International, Caroline Wozniacki, News, Players, Tamira Paszek

By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

Tamira PaszekTamira Paszek’s defence of the Eastbourne crown she spectacularly won in such style last summer petered out with a retirement midway through the second set to former world no1 Caroline Wozniacki.

The Dubai-based Austrian ace, who calls the sleepy seaside resort her second home as she stays with her Godparents during the popular Wimbledon warm-up event, was out-of-sorts from the start.

She has struggled this season, with just one victory on the WTA circuit all year going into the 2013 French Open, and her performance at Devonshire Park was never going to trouble the great Dane – injury or not.

After four breaks of serve, lacklustre Paszek simply didn’t look a shadow of the outstanding grass court player that she has been in the past – including a quarter-final berth at Wimbledon aged 16 and a 1st Round success over Wozniacki at SW19 last year.

Wozniacki, watched in the stands by her boyfriend – professional golfer Rory McIlroy – was locked at 2-2 in a coy second set but was gifted a 2nd Round place when Paszek retired with a recurrence of her left thigh injury.

Paszek surprisingly broke to lead 2-1 in the second set before receiving treatment, but lost her next service game and retired.

And it was a real relief for Wozniacki, whose career has nosedived since she started her romance with McIlroy, following a woeful set of results on clay.

There is little in Wozniacki’s recent form to suggest that she will turn her fortunes around, although she has previously won at Eastbourne and with a game suited to grass could be a dark horse to race to the semi-finals – and maybe beyond.

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2013 Ladies Draw

2013 AEGON International, Agnieszka Radwanska, Ana Ivanovic, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Ekaterina Makarova, Elena Baltacha, Johanna Konta, Laura Robson, Li Na, Maria Kirilenko, Marion Bartoli, Nadia Petrova, Petra Kvitova, Players, Sam Stosur, Sara Errani, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Tamira Paszek, WTA Players

By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

aegon international 2013

2013 Ladies Draw

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Marion BartoliMarion Bartoli, a former Eastbourne champion, was the player most feared in the opening match for seeded players and others alike.
The tenacious and unorthodox French ace, who briefly parted ways from her father’s coaching, has always made an impression on the Devonshire Park grass – but faces Flavia Pennetta in her first match.
Bartoli has missed out on being seeded although briefly was the provisional no8 when Italian Sara Errani made a late withdrawal through injury.
Originally Aussie ace Sam Stosur was a swift replacement to relegate the 29-year-old from becoming a seeded player, but then Eastbourne regular Nadia Petrova of Russia took the last seeded place.
If Bartoli overcomes Italian Pennetta then she faces the winner of no2 seed Li Na and Alize Cornet.
Li was granted a wildcard entry following a poor performance at the 2013 French Open and post-match comments that upset her nation. The Chinese no1 and ex-Roland Garros champion will be eager to kick start her grass court season with progress at Devonshire Park.
Stosur, who only made late applications for wildcard entries at both Birmingham and Eastbourne grass court court events, dropped down the world rankings and out of the top 10 following a poor showing at Roland Garros.
She was usurped by Petrova, an Eastbourne favourite, as the no8 seed and fate would have it that they will face-off in the 1st Round with the winner to play either Angelique Kerber or Sorana Cirstea in the battle of the babes.
No3 seed Kerber fluffed five match points in the 2012 AEGON International final to Austrian ace Tamira Paszek, so the German will be determined to go one step better having learnt from her mistakes and is the most proable champion in a very demanding draw.
There are four other former Eastbourne champions in the draw – Russians Svetlana Kuznetsova and Ekaterina Makarova plus top seed Agnieszka Radwanska and Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki.
Many are deeming the 2013 AEGON International to be a two-horse race between Radwanska – who faces either Su-Wei Hsieh or British wildcard Johanna Konta in the 2nd Round if she defeats a qualifier in her first match – and no5 seed Wozniacki who is the same half as the Polish ace.
Wozniacki faces Paszek in arguably the tie of the opening Round, with a 2nd Round clash against either British no1 Laura Robson or a qualifier on offer for the winner. Wozniacki fell in the 1st Round at last year’s Wimbledon to Paszek, who was riding on a crest of the wave with seven victories at Eastbourne to surprisingly pick up the crown.
Paszek may not be having the best season on the WTA Tour, and arrived at Devonshire Park for 2012 with a similar stop-start season, but she does excel on grass and reached the 2007 Wimbledon 4th Round aged just 16.
Paszek, who spends the tournament week staying with her Godparents who live in Eastbourne, said: “I have a tough 1st Round but it is such an amazing draw again this year. I’m going to give it my all and do my very best to win back-to-back titles.”
Petra Kvitova has never had much luck at Eastbourne, so the Czech Republic ace will be keen to put that record straight ahead of SW19. The Former Wimbledon winner is the no4 seed and has been drawn to face either Monica Niculesclesc in the 1st Round.
The glamorous pair of Russian Maria Kirilenko (no7 seed) and Serbian star Ana Ivanovic (no8 seed) should not detract from their impressive array of tennis weapons, although neither are likely to win the tournament.
Kirilenko is set to face Bojana Jovanoski with either Brit Elena Baltacha or a qualifier the 2nd Round opponent for the victor, while Ivanovic has been drawn against Elena Vesnina. The winner faces either British no2 Heather Watson or American ace Varvara Lepchenko.
Seeds are:
  1. Agnieszka RADWANSKA
  2. LI Na
  3. Angelique KERBER
  4. Petra KVITOVA
  5. Caroline WOZNIACKI
  6. Maria KIRILENKO
  7. Ana IVANOVIC
  8. Nadia PETROVA

Ladies Draw:

(1)Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) vs (qualifier)
(WC)Johanna Konta (GBR) vs Su Wei Hsieh (TPE)
Klara Zakopalova (CZE) vs Lucie Safarova (CZE) [head-to-head 5-3]
(WC)Sam Stosur (AUS) vs (8)Nadia Petrova (RUS) [3-6]
(3)Angelique Kerber (GER) vs Sorana Cirstea (ROU) [1-1]
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) vs (q)
Laura Robson (GBR) vs (q)
Tamira Paszek (AUT) vs (5)Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) [1-1]
(6)Maria Kirilenko (RUS) vs Bojana Jovanovski (SRB)
(WC)Elena Baltacha (GBR) vs (q)
Christina McHale (USA) vs Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) [0-2]
Monica Niculescu (ROU) vs (4)Petra Kvitova (CZE)
(7)Ana Ivanovic (SRB) vs Elena Vesnina (RUS) [2-0]
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) vs Heather Watson (GBR)
Flavia Pennetta (ITA) vs Marion Bartoli (FRA) [1-3]
Alize Cornet (FRA) vs (2)Li Na (CHN) [0-2]

marion bartoli eastbourne 2012

Errani withdrawal promotes Stosur

2013 AEGON International, Agnieszka Radwanska, Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Ekaterina Makarova, EXCLUSIVE, Li Na, Maria Kirilenko, Marion Bartoli, Nadia Petrova, Petra Kvitova, Players, Sam Stosur, Sara Errani, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Tamira Paszek, Yaroslava Shvedova

Exclusive by Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

Sam Stosur Sam Stosur has been elevated to the no8 seeding as Italian Sara Errani withdrew from Eastbourne on Thursday afternoon.

Errani, who reached the semi-finals at the French Open but only picked up a single game against eventual champion Serena Williams, is suffering from a foot strain and an abductor strain.

The Aussie ace, who only opted for late wildcards at the grass court tournaments in Birmingham and Eastbourne instead of practice.

Her trademark kick serve is exposed to daze and confuse opponents, with the rest of the seeded players probably breathing a sigh of relief that they won’t have to face her in the opening round.

And with an incredible line-up for this year’s pre-Wimbledon tournament at Eastbourne, it is probably the best place to watch grass court tennis outside of The Championships at SW19.

Six former champions – Agnieszka Radwanska, Caroline Wozniacki, Marion Bartoli, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Tamira Paszek and Ekatrina Makarova – face stiff competition from the world’s leading ladies.

German Anglique Kerber, who let five match points slip in last year’s final, will be amongst the favourites to be crowned 2013 AEGON International champion.

Petra Kvitova, the Czech Republic’s 2011 Wimbledon winner, has the ability to go all the way on grass whereas top 10 ace Chinese no1 Li Na does not have the style of game particularly suited to grass.

However, grass court experts Stosur and Serbian star Ana Ivanovic will be relishing the opportunity of competing against the top players ahead of Wimbledon, although neither are likely to lift the crown on 22 June 2013.

There are an intriguing trio of Russians also in with a chance of making the final. Maria Kirilenko will be joined by relative veteran Nadia Petrova on their respective hunt for glory.

Players to watch, but who won’t be crowned 2013 Eastbourne champion, include British youngsters Laura Robson and Heather Watson.

America’s rising star Sloane Stephens and Kazakhstani’s Yaroslava Shvedova have withdrawn from the event.

Seeds are:

  1. Agnieszka RADWANSKA
  2. LI Na
  3. Angelique KERBER
  4. Petra KVITOVA
  5. Caroline WOZNIACKI
  6. Maria KIRILENKO
  7. Ana IVANOVIC
  8. Sam STOSUR

Pressure mounts on Paszek

Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, News, Players, Tamira Paszek, WTA Players

By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

2012champpaszekTamira Paszek returns as the defending champion at Eastbourne eager to bounce back from Tuesday’s shock defeat to American qualifier Alison Riske at Birmingham.

The world no29 fell in three sets to Pittsburgh’s Riske at the AEGON Classic, who avenged the previous week’s reversal on the grass in Nottingham.

Austrian ace Paszek was fully aware how dangerous a qualifier can be in a draw, having claimed last year’s Devonshire Park title with seven straight wins that began in the qualifying stages.

But Paszek arrives at Eastbourne having only just beaten off a bout of flu and bronchitis to kick off the grass court season, her favourite surface. And she has suffered a start-stop season on the WTA Tour throughout 2013 due to a combination of injury and illness.

Paszek explained: “It has been a very hard year so far. I’ve had a pinched nerve in my shoulder, I had a virus at the beginning of the year then bronchitis during the clay season.

“I hope England is good to me because every time I arrive here it feels like my second home. The people have always been nice to me, I just love everything about England.”

And the reason that Paszek treats the AEGON International virtually like a home tournament is because she stays during the week-long event with her Godparents in Eastbourne, who helped prove the inspiration for last year’s incredible run – that included saving match points in the final against German Angelique Kerber.

Paszek added: “This tournament in Eastbourne is really, really important for me. I’m going back as defending champ and then on to Wimbledon, which is one of my favourite tournaments – it’s going to be a great couple of weeks.”

The popular 2012 Eastbourne winner followed up her shock success on grass by reaching her second Wimbledon quarter-final on the bounce, dispatching of ex-world no1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark en route.

But the odds are hughly stacked against Paszek from retaining her crown, and she will have her work cut out as she won’t be seeded as six of the current world’s top 10 are set to compete.

Radwanska’s role as leading lady

2013 AEGON International, Agnieszka Radwanska, Alize Cornet, Ana Ivanovic, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Ekaterina Makarova, Elena Baltacha, Elena Vesnina, Johanna Konta, Klara Zakopalova, Laura Robson, Li Na, Lucie Safarova, Maria Kirilenko, Marion Bartoli, Nadia Petrova, Petra Kvitova, Players, Roberta Vinci, Sara Errani, Seeds, Sloane Stephens, Sorana Cirstea, Su-Wei Hsieh, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Tamira Paszek, Varvara Lepchenko, Yanina Wickmayer, Yaroslava Shvedova

By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

2013 entrants and seeds

Sara ErraniSara Errani, who brilliantly battled her way to the semi-finals at Roland Garros, misses Eastbourne with a late withdrawal.
The exciting Italian is suffering from both a foot injury and an abductor strain.
But her loss has elevated Aussie ace Sam Stosur to provisionally become a seeded player, although that is dependent following her shock exit at the 2013 French Open.
Russian regular Nadia Petrova and France’s Marion Bartoli are battling it out with Stosur to take the final no8 seeding.
Stosur, who only made late applications for wildcard entries at both Birmingham and Eastbourne grass court court events, will be among the players expected to progress during the week-long tournament.
With Li Na also granted a wildcard entry following a poor performance at the 2013 French Open, then the Chinese no1 has stepped into the shoes of Errani to take over as no2 seed. Li will be extremely eager to kick start her grass court season with progress at Devonshire Park.
Two former Eastbourne champions, top seed Agnieszka Radwanska and Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki will provide stiff opposition on their favourite surface.
Angelique Kerber fluffed five match points in the 2012 AEGON International final to Austrian ace Tamira Paszek, so the German star will be determined to go one step better having learnt from her mistakes.
Former Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova as never had much luck at Eastbourne, and the Czech Republic ace will be keen to put that record straight ahead of SW19.
Maria Kirilenko and Serbian star Ana Ivanovic will bring glamour to the courts as well as their amazing array of tennis weapons, although the Russian is unlikely to make much impact in a tough draw.
Seeds are:

  1. Agnieszka RADWANSKA
  2. LI Na
  3. Angelique KERBER
  4. Petra KVITOVA
  5. Caroline WOZNIACKI
  6. Maria KIRILENKO
  7. Ana IVANOVIC
  8. Nadia PETROVA

Paszek pleased to return

2013 AEGON International, Angelique Kerber, Ladies Singles, News, Players, Tamira Paszek
Tamira Paszek

Tamira Paszek, the defending AEGON International champion, is keen to emulate her remarkable run on her return to Devonshire Park.

The 22-year-old Austrian rode her luck with ambitious and attacking play to reach the 2012 final in style. Then shocked German Angelique Kerber in three sets, saving five match points in a topsy-turvy final that had neutrals on the edge of their Centre Court seats.

Paszek not only impressed fellow WTA Tour players and the enthusiastic crowds, but her Eastbourne-based godparents throughout last year’s tournament.

The world no.30 admitted: “It would be the most amazing thing if I could win it for the second time, but the fans are always incredible and hopefully they might get behind me again – so I don’t see why it can’t happen again.

“Last year I came into it just looking to play a few games that seemed to go pretty well for me. As soon as I am on grass for two days it feels natural, and I got to the Wimbledon final of the Girls’ Singles.

“I have family who live in Eastbourne so I stay at their house, which does help relax me before the tournament and made a big difference last year.”

2013 entrants – exclusive

Agnieszk Radwanska
Squat a winner: Agnieszka Radwanska
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Ladies (WTA Tour) // Another strong line-up at Devonshire Park will see former Eastbourne champion Agnieszka Radwanska provisionally head the seedings.

The 24-year-old Pole has been a regular favourite at the AEGON International and amongst the large Polish community in the seaside town.

Ex-Eastbourne winner, and briefly the world no1, Caroline Wozniacki returns to the AEGON International keen to sharpen her grass court skills ahead of The Championships at SW1.

Czech ace Petra Kvitova knows how to win on grass, having been crowned Wimbledon champion but failing to then crack the world’s top three as predicted by experts and former players.

Rising star Sara Errani of Italy and seasoned professional Marion Bartoli of France are among other big guns who will be fired up for a shot at glory.

The players set to compete at the 2013 AEGON International are:

  1. Agniezka Radwanska (Poland)
  2. Sara Errani (Italy)
  3. Angelique Kerber (Germany)
  4. Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic)
  5. Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark)
  6. Nadia Petrova (Russia)
  7. Maria Kirilenko (Russia)
  8. Ana Ivanovic (Serbia)
  9. Marion Bartoli (France)
  10. Roberta Vinci (Italy)
  11. Sloane Stephens (USA)
  12. Ekaterina Makarova (Russia)
  13. Klara Zakopalova (Czech Republic)
  14. Sorana Cirstea (Romania)
  15. Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic)
  16. Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan)
  17. Tamira Paszek (Austria)
  18. Alize Cornet (France)
  19. Varvara Lepchenko (USA)
  20. Elena Vesnina (Russia)
  21. Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia)
  22. Laura Robson (Great Britain)
  23. Su-Wei Hsieh (Taipei)
  24. Yanina Wickmayer (Belgium)
2013 AEGON International, Agnieszka Radwanska, Alize Cornet, Ana Ivanovic, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Ekaterina Makarova, Elena Vesnina, EXCLUSIVE, Flavia Pennetta, Klara Zakopalova, Ladies Singles, Laura Robson, Li Na, Lucie Safarova, Maria Kirilenko, Marion Bartoli, Nadia Petrova, Petra Kvitova, Players, Roberta Vinci, Sara Errani, Sloane Stephens, Sorana Cirstea, Su-Wei Hsieh, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Tamira Paszek, Varvara Lepchenko, WTA Players, Yanina Wickmayer, Yaroslava Shvedova

Tamira Paszek

2013 AEGON International, Tamira Paszek
Paszek, TamiraPaszek, Tamira
Birthplace:
Dornbirn, Austria
Residence
Dornbirn, Austria
Height
5′ 5″ (1.65 m)
Weight
132 lbs. (60 kg)
Plays
Right-handed
Turned Pro
2005

Tamira Paszek took part in her first WTA tournament in Linz in 2006, and just a few months later picked up her first title in Portoroz – making her the seventh youngest player in the history of the sport to lift a singles trophy.

The following year she broke into the world’s top 50 and reached the last 16 at Wimbledon and the US Open on her debut appearances at both Grand Slams.

However, 2007 proved to be a nightmare and the in 2008 she beat Ava Ivanovic, the then world no1.

In 2012 she claimed the AEGON International crown at Eastbourne in style, saving five match points in the final and it took her a third match point to clinch the title.

Paszek gets place in Olympics

Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, News, Tamira Paszek, WTA Players

2012winnerpaszekTamira Paszek, the 2012 Eastbourne champion, has been confirmed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to enter into the 2012 Olympics Tennis tournament at Wimbledon following her successful appeal.

The appeal was made against the ITF Olympic Committee’s decision not to allow Paszek to compete at the London Games due to complications with fulfilling the Fed Cup element of the eligibility rule for the 2012 Olympics.

Yet Paszek, ranked in the world’s top 40 and the no1 Austrian on the WTA Tour, was helped by Tennis Austria to launch her appeal. Documents were produced to prove her availability and willingness to compete in Fed Cup events during 2010.

The Fed Cup element of the Olympic Eligibility Rule has been a bone of contention for many players, including world no1 Roger Federer.

Paszek’s appeal was successful as it was confirming that the vital two components of the rule were fulfilled by her, namely that she made herself available to compete in Fed Cup events during the Olympic cycle and she is a player who has a strong standing with Tennis Austria.

Paszek replaces Swiss player Timea Bacsinszky in the Olympics, and is a talent on grass having won the 2012 AEGON International with success over German Angelique Kerber and following it up with a shock success over former world no1 Caroline Wozniacki in the opening round of 2012 Wimbledon.

Paszek perfection

Caroline Wozniacki, News, Players, Tamira Paszek

By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd at Wimbledon

2012champpaszekTamira Paszek, the shock Eastbourne 2012 winner, continued her incredible form on grass by disposing of Caroline Wozniacki at Wimbledon.

The Austrian ace, who had won just two matches all year prior to Devonshire Park -including 11 1st Round exits on the WTA Tour -saved two match points against former world no1 Wozniacki.

But Paszek won their Centre Court 1st Round clash 5-7 7-6 (4) 6-4 in three hours and 12 minutes.

In a topsy-turvy decisive set, ex-Eastbourne champion Wozniacki moved into a 30-0 3-2 lead only for her tenacious 22-year-old opponent to claw her way back.

After Paszek’s killer baseline strokes destroyed the Dane’s serve to break, the battling Austrian stuttered on her own serve for the match to slip from 5-3 to 5-4.

Wozniacki was hard pushed on her own service game with long rallies, and she unsuccessfully challenged a clearly wayward shot to move to match point against her – and Paszek passed her with a powerful precise drive to take the match.

And to really rub the salt in the wounds, this was the very first time that Wozniacki had suffered an opening round defeat at a Grand Slam.