Re: Tamira Paszek Articles and Interviews Thread
Defending Aegon International champion Tamira Paszek spoke of her excitement to revisit the site of her last WTA triumph – admitting returning to Eastbourne feels like a homecoming.
The 22-year-old upset the odds last year when she came into the tournament unseeded but saved five match points in the final to come out on top against German fifth seed and world No.9 Angelique Kerber 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.
Despite being from Austria, Paszek has an important link to Eastbourne as her godparents reside in the town – a taste of familiarity which she believes played a major role in her excellent form last year.
And set to take to the Devonshire Park courts again at the event from June 15-22 to defend her title, the world No.30 has her eyes set on repeating the trick again this year.
“It is such a wonderful event and it would be the most amazing thing if I could possibly win it for the second time,” she said.
“Last year I came into it just looking to play a few games and that seemed to go pretty well for me so I don’t see why it can’t happen again.
“[Eastbourne] is such a cute little place, I go to the beach and I have family who live there so I stay at their house and it feels like I am coming home which really does help relax you before the tournament – I think it made a big difference last year.
“It is going to be a really tough event again this year, the best players will be there but the fans are always incredible and hopefully they might get behind me.”
As one of the premier events in the lead up to The Championships, Wimbledon, players will hope to hit form in Eastbourne and take it into the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament.
Paszek illustrated this last year when she continued her winning streak after the International to knock out former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki in a marathon three-hour match en-route to the Wimbledon quarterfinals – her joint-best Grand Slam result along with Wimbledon 2011.
And after achieving her best results on grass, Paszek was optimistic for another successful summer in the UK.
“It is funny because I grew up on clay but as soon as I am on grass for two days it feels natural,” she added.
“Grass does seem to get the best out of me, that is what everyone says anyway, as I got to the final of the Girls’ Singles Championships at Wimbledon as well.
“Don’t remind me about the length of the matches last year though. I have a reputation for being the one who always plays the long matches – although as long as I win it doesn’t matter.”