Paszek And Coach Splits
Tamira Paszek and coach Larri Passos have parted, concluding a partnership that spanned nearly two years and saw the 16-year-old Austrian rise from No. 365 to a career-high rank of No. 35 following her run to the Wimbledon round of 16 in July. Under Passos' guidance, Paszek, who celebrates her 17th birthday next Thursday, won her first career title in Portoroz last year and advanced to the fourth round of the U.S. Open in September.
"It was a pleasure working with Tamira for these two years," said Passos, best known as the coach of three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten. "I am happy that the mission I set myself to do was well done, but I felt the need to go for new challenges in my career. I believe in Tamira and so far she is in the right way."
Passos will continue coaching at his academy, the Instituto Larri Passos, in Santa Catarina, Brazil, and said he will consider other coaching offers as well.
Paszek, who constructs points with the confidence of a veteran, began working with Passos last year after her father phoned the Brazilian to request his services. Passos flew to Austria, was impressed with what he saw and has been working with Paszek since.
"He was one of the guys I was looking for, you know, a coach with a very big heart, big focus," Paszek said.
She signaled her status as a player with a promising future in 2006. As a 259th-ranked qualifier, Paszek won three rounds in qualifying to reach the main draw of the Tier IV Portoroz tournament then registered five more wins to become the seventh-youngest singles titlist in Sony Ericsson WTA Tour history at 15 years, 9 months and 18 days and the third lowest-ranked tournament champion in Tour history.