Roddick’s love match

2013 AEGON International

Golfer Andy Roddick

Ball control: Andy Roddick

Andy Roddick, last year’s AEGON International champion, amazingly found himself in the world’s top 40 despite having hung up his racquet following the 2012 US Open.

The American ace, who breezed to the 2012 Eastbourne Tennis title on his Devonshire Park debut, moved up the Singles rankings to no40 on Valentine’s Day without even playing a competitive match on the ATP Tour for almost six months.

However, his elevation back into the world’s top 40 was shortlived as the veteran ex-world no1 officially retired from the ATP Tour in mid-February 2013 following his announcement  – on his 30th birthday last August – to retire from the sport.

Flamboyant Roddick, whose final match was the rain-delayed defeat to Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro at September’s US Open, has since entered just one professional golf tournament (off a handicap of six). However, although he teamed up with pro John Mallinger the pair missed the cut to get the final round at the 2013 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in the United States.

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.

2012 Eastbourne Tennis Videos

Andreas Seppi, Andy Roddick, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Klara Zakopalova, Marion Bartoli, Tamira Paszek, WTA Players

An interview with Andy Roddick (2012)

Andy Roddick, News

Roddick at EastbourneAndy Roddick | 23 June 2012

Andy RODDICK defeated Andreas Seppi 6‑3 6‑2
Q.  Are you a much happier man than you were at the start of the week?
ANDY RODDICK:  Well, I feel better about my tennis game.  You know, like I touched on yesterday a lot of times you make plans on the fly.  In a perfect world, the idea was that I didn’t get matches at Queen’s; let’s come here and try and get some matches in.
You know, the thing that makes sports great is there is no script.  You can draw it up, and it rarely works out the way this week has.  You know, I think, as I’ve gotten older, I guess I’ve learned to appreciate this a little bit more.

Q.  Pretty efficient performance today, wasn’t it?
ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah.  I mean, I don’t remember the last time I got broken twice and won 3 and 2.  I felt real good.  My returns this week were close to as well as I have.
You know, I was able to close well.  You know, I started off not serving great and then made an adjustment.  I think I served 90% in the second set, which is a pretty strong number, especially given the conditions.  Just try to maintain this form going into Wimbledon.

Q.  On Wimbledon, you’re playing Jamie Baker in Round 1.  Any thoughts on that?
ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, I didn’t know that until not too long ago.  I made it a point not to check on this that while this tournament was still going on.

You know, he’s played it before.  You know, he’s been in that draw plenty of times.  He had a pretty good win here this week I think over one of our guys.  You know, you’ve gotta go out and serve well and return well, and hopefully it will take care of itself.

Q.  How far do you think you can go at Wimbledon, then?
ANDY RODDICK:  Right now my goal is make it past the first round.  We’ll see.  We’ll renegotiate round by round.

Q.  You go in in a much better mood than you were previously?
ANDY RODDICK:  Well, yeah.  I feel better about my tennis game.  You know, coming in here I felt like I was hitting the ball fine in practice.  It’s just such a fine line but it seems like a big line between playing well and hitting the ball well in drills in practice and getting that to translate to matches.  I was able to kind of find that crossover this week.
You know, now it’s just a matter of, you know, taking care of myself the next couple of days and just trying to maintain what I started this week.

Q.  Will you come back to defend your crown next year?
ANDY RODDICK:  We’ll see.  You know, like I said, I think I answered this yesterday, as well.  I think you might have asked it yesterday.

Q.  Wasn’t me.
ANDY RODDICK:  Wasn’t you?  Okay.
It was you?  Okay.  I’ll let you live, then.  (Laughter.)  We’ll see.  It’s tough for me to say anything at this point.

Q.  Can you just tell us a little bit about your feelings about Wimbledon?  I mean, it has been discussed as to whether this might be your last year or not.  Clearly that’s probably not something you want to answer at the moment, but there will come a time in the not‑too‑distant future when you won’t be able to play there anymore, whether it’s this year, two or three years’ time.
ANDY RODDICK:  Sure.

Q.  How do you feel about going back and all the experiences you’ve had there and going back again?
ANDY RODDICK:  I think it’s the most special place in tennis.  You know, I think it’s the event that we have that we can put up against any other sporting event in the world.

As far as the traditions and just the way everything works, you know, it’s a really, really special place.  You know, on an off day, I think it was five days before Queen’s, I went and hit on the indoor courts, and just walking through the grounds when nobody is there, it still has that feeling.

I think we’re pretty spoiled when we walk through most tennis venues.  I don’t really take notice of too much anymore, I don’t think.  I guess I’m a little jaded as far as that goes.   But you walk through there, and I think if you have a pulse at all, it grabs your attention.

Q.  Are you going to find it hard to pull yourself away from it eventually?
ANDY RODDICK:  Well, there’s no rule against me visiting, is there?  You guys gonna keep me out of the country or what?

Q.  We’ll let you come, yeah.
ANDY RODDICK:  Then I don’t have to worry about that then.

Q.  Won’t be quite the same, will it?
ANDY RODDICK:  It’s never the same, but it is what it is.  I have a lot of great memories, you know.  I have played some great tennis there over the years, and, you know, somehow or another, it’s one of those things that happens naturally, and I don’t know how, why, or when exactly, but I have developed a good relationship with, you know, the crowds there, as well.

So it’s a special place that I really enjoy playing.

Q.  What will this give you confidence‑wise heading into Wimbledon this week?
ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, it’s great.  I went from a six‑match losing streak to all of a sudden winning a tournament.  It’s 180‑degree turnaround.  Playing the right way, too.

I felt like I played most of the matches this week on my terms, you know, with the exception of yesterday which was on the wind’s terms and nobody else’s.

I feel good.  I felt like I returned really well this week.  You know, it turns quickly.  I always say that to people ‑ I’m not sure how much they believe me ‑ but you’re never playing as badly as you think, and you’re probably never playing as good as you think, too.   I’m just going to stay the course and try to maintain form.

Q.  What happened at Queen’s, quite an amazing turnaround.  In the space of a week you come to the final and win it here.
ANDY RODDICK:  I mean, I had match point at Queen’s a couple times.  I win that one, who knows?  I could be in the same position there, you know.  It’s just a matter of getting over the hurdles.  The margins in professional tennis are so small, you know, between ‑‑ a tournament like playing well here, I mean, yesterday I was down break point in the third set.  I lose that one, and all of a sudden, who knows what happens?  I’m probably not sitting here and you guys still have a lot of questions, you know.

So it’s a fine line.  I’m thankful that it went my way this week.

Q.  Talk about the men’s game with Nadal and Djokovic.  Can anyone surpass them, do you think, this year?
ANDY RODDICK:  Well, yeah, you left out Roger.  He’s pretty good, too.  I’m not in the business of making predictions.  That’s not my job.  So I’m just trying to play and get through a round and then see where we are after that.

Q.  Do you still feel a Grand Slam is in you?
ANDY RODDICK:  We’ll see.  I know I can win matches.  It’s a matter of putting seven in a row together.  I don’t know that I’m going to get carried away with thinking of this tournament in the context of a win before the first Monday.  I think that’s a little presumptuous for me at this point.

I feel I can put a scare into people right now the way I’m playing.

Q.  With your win, you have got over 600 tour victories.  How does that feel?  Pretty esteemed list.
ANDY RODDICK:  I actually miscounted.  I thought the one in the morning was 600, and then, you know, bless my team.  They didn’t have the heart to tell me it wasn’t.  So I kind of messed that one up.

Q.  Is that something you keep an eye on as you play?
ANDY RODDICK:  No, sure, I was conscious of that.  When you do something, you know, 15, 16 people have done in the history of the game, it’s two things:  It makes you call into the fact that you are probably older than you want to be at this point, and secondly, it’s a lot of wins.  I mean, it’s a lot of matches.  You know, it’s a humbling thing.
The other one I wanted to keep alive was, you know, winning one tournament a year for I think it’s 12 years now.  I know three or four people have done that.

This has been a good week for me as far as that stuff goes.  You know, three weeks ago I couldn’t have thought I was further away, you know.
So it changes quickly.  You know, sometimes I need to remind myself of those numbers just to ‑ you know, this is a what‑did‑you‑do‑last‑week‑type sport?

So looking back on that, maybe I need to look at those a little bit more and realize that I’ve done this for a long time pretty well.

 

An interview with Tamira Paszek (23 June 2012)

News, Players, Tamira Paszek

2012winnerpaszekTamira Paszek | 23 June 2012

T. PASZEK defeated Angelique Kerber 5‑7 6‑3 7‑5

Q.  Have you studied the life of Houdini?
TAMIRA PASZEK:  I haven’t, no.  I don’t know.  It was just amazing feeling.  I don’t know what kept me going, how I kept going.  I was dead tired in the third set.  I could hardly move.  I just gave all I had left, and it just was enough.

Q.  Have you surprised yourself with the way you’ve managed to fight through these matches this week?
TAMIRA PASZEK:  I always knew I’m a fighter, I always believed in myself, but I’d say Andrei my coach really helped me to find my passion in the game, to find my belief in myself on court.

Because in practice everything has been working, and now it was just a matter of getting that aggression and pleasure to play on court.  It just all fitted together this week.

Q.  When she had five match points and she didn’t put any of them away, did you start to think this could be your day?
TAMIRA PASZEK:  It was kind of weird, because the game before I slipped on court, and I kind of hurt my Achilles and the ankle a bit, so I was like ‑ I didn’t even think about the score, what was going on.  She really played well that game.

I just said, Okay, I’ll just try a dropshot, why not, for a change?
So I kept going, won that game, and then I was just like, Okay, whatever.  Just keep playing, try to focus on every point.
To be honest, I did not realize that it was match point or like ‑‑ that was 5‑3 down.  She was serving for the match at 5‑4.  I was just like on court enjoying the atmosphere with this amazing crowd.  It was unbelievable.

Q.  Shortly afterwards you had your ankle strapped, and it was getting bigger by the minute.
TAMIRA PASZEK:  Yeah, it was getting bigger and bigger.  It was so tight, and I hate tight tape.  So it was like, Oh, that’s feeling a bit weird on court.  You have to manage to get on with things which aren’t perfect.  So I just tried to keep there and keep hanging there.

Q.  In the beginning, you were almost down 4‑Love.  Why the slow start?
TAMIRA PASZEK:  I had my chances in the first two games, I was playing well, but I was playing too reserved.  She just played her game and went for the shots.  Changed the tactics a little bit.  I played too much onto her body and on the same side all over again, so I just tried to move her a bit more and get my game going.  It worked out in the end.

Q.  How is your ankle now?
TAMIRA PASZEK:  I haven’t seen the doctor yet.  I’m going to meet the doctor afterwards.  We’ll have a look at that.

It’s feeling okay.  It’s a bit painful, but I’m walking, which is good.

Q.  Have you allowed yourself any thoughts about Wimbledon yet?
TAMIRA PASZEK:  Not really.  Today’s day of Eastbourne, Eastbourne final, you’re only once in the final here in 2012, so that was my day.  I tried to enjoy every moment out there.  I will enjoy the rest of the day, try to relax, review the whole week, and then from tomorrow focus on Wimbledon starts.

Q.  You’ve got some family connections in Eastbourne.  How special was it to win in Eastbourne for you?
TAMIRA PASZEK:  Amazing.  I mean, the feelings, I cannot describe them.  I was sitting on the couch at home a week ago, drive from Birmingham, played a horrible match there, no confidence.  I was like, Okay, just try to get at least one win under your belt before Wimbledon.
My godfather was joking.  He’s like, You’re going to bring me this cup home.

I’m like, Oh, my God.  That’s a lot of pressure.
I just took it step by step, day by day, and match by match it just went better and better and better.  I haven’t even met him yet.  He’s going to be over the moon.

I love Eastbourne I’m already looking forward to come back next week.

Q.  Is this the best week of your tennis life?
TAMIRA PASZEK:  It’s been one of the best, yeah.  Of course, winning a title, you know, everything has to fit together.  It was a pleasure to have all my family here, my coach here.  My dad came in from London this morning, which was a surprise for me.

So it makes it really special to win, first of all, the title on grass, one of my favorite surfaces, and secondly, in front of the family.  So many fans and family and friends back home were watching.  So I want to also thank everyone who was supporting me throughout the whole week.

Q.  What other family did you have here apart from your father and your Godparents?
TAMIRA PASZEK:  That’s it.

Q.  That’s it?
TAMIRA PASZEK:  That’s it.  Friends and people I have known since I’m like two years old.  I had a couple of them here.  My mom and my brother are home, but they were watching on TV.

Q.  What will this do for your career now, you think?
TAMIRA PASZEK:  I definitely think it gave me a big confidence boost.  Going into Wimbledon now, it’s just a different feeling than a week ago where I was low in confidence and just not sure whether I was doing the right things.

Now I just feel like everything fits together.  I’m happy on court.  I’m enjoying every moment out there.  I feel feet on court, ready to play three sets, been there three hours.  Just makes me happy to be healthy out there.

Q.  A lot of people might look at your first‑round match now as one of the most exciting now.
TAMIRA PASZEK:  I heard about that already.  Well, Caroline’s tough opponent, former world No. 1, amazing competitor out there.  Doesn’t give you a free point.

So from tomorrow I will just try to, you know, do my work with Andrei, go on court, try to adapt my game, get used to the courts, the atmosphere for Grand Slam again, and then we will see.  I will go out there and enjoy every moment and try to do my best.

Q.  What’s your head‑to‑head with Caroline?
TAMIRA PASZEK:  Oh, well, we know each other since we are like 10 years old.  I have a picture at home.  We’re like both (indicating short height)?

We played the final when we were Under 12 or something like that.  But I think on tour she beat me once.  That was the only time we played on tour, if I remember.  Juniors many times.