Paszek stuns Kerber

Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Marion Bartoli, Tamira Paszek

2012 Ladies Final by Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

2012 Eastbourne winner

Just champion: Austrian ace Tamira Paszek

Tamira Paszek’s spirit and determination saw the Austrian ace snatch victory from the jaws of defeat to stun Angelique Kerber 5-7 6-3 7-5 – saving five match points in the process.

Paszek claimed her first title since she won Quebec City in 2010, her shock triumph arrived on the back of 11 1st Round defeats and just two victories on the WTA Tour all season.

Paszek, a 2011 Wimbledon quarter-finals, made it two shocks in as many days after dismissing in-form French star Marion Bartoli in yesterday’s semi-final and then edging past Kerber in a thriller worthy of a final.

But the world no59 needed three match points to triumph, watched by her father and her Eastbourne-based Godparents.

Paszek took a medical time-out to have her right ankle strapped and called the trainer again to massage her calf during a changeover before clinching the match on her third match point.

Paszek said:

I always knew I’m a fighter, I always believe in myself. It’s been one of the best weeks for me by winning a title, everything fitted together.

“It makes it really special to win, first of all, the title on grass, one of my favourite surfaces, and secondly, in front of the family. It was a pleasure to have all my family here and my coach here.

“Grass is good for my game, I love fast surfaces like hard courts and I just enjoy the grass.

”I don’t know what kept me going and 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.”

Kerber claimed the opening set, which was accompanied by chants from protesting Dutch dockers gathered outside a gate close to Centre Court who accused tournament sponsor AEGON of mishandling their pension fund and handed out black tennis balls to those going into Devonshire Park.

And the world no8 Kerber seemed in control in her bid for a third title in 2012 after capturing the Paris Indoor and Copenhagen events.

But unseeded Paszek bounced back with verve to level matters with some impressive power shots from tight angles.

The Centre Court fans were treated to a nailbiting final set, with Kerber seemingly running out of steam with less impressive groundstrokes as the set continued.

Yet the rising German star, touted as future world no1, created 10 break points but was denied nine of these by brave Paszek.

The unseeded Austrian battled back from a set and 4-0 down against defending champion Marion Bartoli in the semifinals, and she trailed Kerber 4-2 in the final set of their 2-hour, 45-minute final.

Positive play from Paszek ensued, but the talented Kerber had only herself to blame for not producing the sort of clinical finish that she had provided all week.

Kerber fluffed a match point on Paszek’s serve and even though she was gifted a further four match points stuttered under pressure with unforced errors, although all credit must go to brave battler Paszek.

Yet the Austrian suffered injury problems with her right leg after slipping in the seventh game and was forced to take a medical time-out to have her right ankle strapped.

She required the trainer again to massage her calf during a changeover prior to clinching the crown on her third match point.

The 21-year-old sank to her knees and kissed the grass in true Grand Slam fashion, warming up perfectly at Devonshire Park for her 1st Round Wimbledon clash against former Eastbourne winner and ex-world no1 Caroline Wozniacki.

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.


Paszek problem for Bartoli

Angelique Kerber, Marion Bartoli, Tamira Paszek

Tamira Paszek saw off the challenge of French star Marion Bartoli with a fiercely-fought three set thriller over 185 gruelling minutes.

The 21-year-old Austrian ace saw off the defending champion 4-6 7-5 6-4 in blustery conditions on Centre Court.

Paszek, the world no59, admitted:

I had to try to keep moving and keep focused because it was very, very tough conditions out there.

“It was very, very tough, I just had to try to keep moving, keep my focus. I was actually pretty calm. But I felt my hands were freezing cold all through the match.

“I wasn’t frustrated with the way it is, the weather was that way. You cannot change Mother Nature, so for that reason I just tried to keep focus on every point.

“It feels amazing to be in the final, and I love Eastbourne – it feels like home coming back every year.”

Paszek will play in her first WTA final this term, and in her maiden Eastbourne title decider.

She faces rising German star Angelique Kerber who thrashed Czech Republic’s Klara Zakapolova 6-0 6-3 in an hour.

Beaten Bartoli, who needed her thigh strapped when trailed 3-2 in the final set, fumed:

It was a nightmare to play in those conditions! I got chances in every single game and ended up losing them.

“My leg got pretty tight and then tired, but I think in two or three days it will be back to normal.

“In these conditions, even if I was leading, I never felt comfortable. I didn’t make one ace today, where yesterday I served 10 or 12. It’s really levelling when you have those kind of conditions.

“But I really tried my hardest, and there is not much I could have done better or try harder. On the other hand Tamira played really well, she deserved to win.”

Kerber races into final

Angelique Kerber, Tamira Paszek

Angelique KerberAngelique Kerber totally demolished blonde Klara Zakapolova with exceptional play to breeze into her third final this year.

The rising German star shone brightly on Centre Court to drum up a 6-0 6-3 one-woman show in a little over an hour.

Czech Republic’s Zakaplova found not only the blustery conditions difficult to contend with but also an opponent in outstanding form in their first ever encounter on the WTA Tour.

Kerber, yet to be tested on her debut at Devonshire Park, enthused:

I came here one week ago, and the plan was to have lots of matches before Wimbledon.

“So it feels very good to reach the final because it’s my first time here – and it’s a big thing for me.

“For sure Tamira (Paszek) will try to win the final also, but I will be out there having fun before Wimbledon.”

2012 Ladies Singles – Thursday’s Results

Angelique Kerber, Ekaterina Makarova, Lucie Safarova, Marion Bartoli, Results, Tamira Paszek, WTA Players

2012 AEGON International


Marion Bartoli won 6-4 6-2 v Lucie Safarova

Klara Zakopalova won 6-3 7-5 v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Angelique Kerber won 6-2 6-4 v Ekaterina Makarova

Tsvetana Pironkova lost 0-6 4-6 v Tamira Paszek

Outsider Paszek defies the odds

Tamira Paszek, WTA Players

Tamira-PaszekEB2012Tamira Paszek has bounced back brilliantly from her shock exit on grass at Birmingham last week to soar into the semi-finals with a comprehensive 6-0 6-4 win over Tsvetana Pironkova.

Paszek, the world no58, started the day as the clear outsider to claim the Eastbourne title with generous odds of 20-1 – but deserved her first semi-final berth this season.

And these two have proven grass court pedigree – Pironkova twice beating American icon Venus Williams at SW19 and reaching the final four at the All England Club in 2010, Paszek reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Bulgarian Pironkova and Austria Paszek have outgunned the big names and are names to watch out for at the back-to-back majors of Wimbledon and the London 2012 Olympics.

But their clash failed to live up to the great expectations, although the rain break of more than two hours certainly didn’t help.

2012 Ladies Singles – Wednesday’s Results

Angelique Kerber, Ekaterina Makarova, Laura Robson, Lucie Safarova, Marion Bartoli, Results, Tamira Paszek, WTA Players

2012 AEGON International

2nd Round

Heather Watson lost 6-7 1-6 to Lucie Safarova

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won 7-5 3-6 6-4 v Christina McHale

Angelique Kerber won 6-3 6-2 v Chanelle Scheepers

Laura Robson lost 4-6 5-7 to Ekaterina Makarova

Tsvetana Pironkova won 6-0 4-6 6-4 v Stephanie Dubois

Marion Bartoli won 6-2 6-2 v Aleksandra Wozniak

Tamira Paszek won 6-4 3-6 6-1 v Daniela Hantuchova

Petra Cetkovska lost 1-6 6-1 2-6 to Klara Zakopalova