Tennis

Paszek lifts Eastbourne title

2012-06-23 16:53
Tamira Paszek (Reuters)

Eastbourne - Tamira Paszek rallied from a set and a break down to overhaul world number eight Angelique Kerber 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 on Saturday in the final of the WTA Eastbourne tournament.

The Austrian ranked 59th in the world, who had come onto the grass of this English south coast town with two wins from 15 matches this season, did what she has done best in recovering from disaster.

Paszek's momentum could not be stopped by a calf injury which she had taped late in the match after a slip on the grass, She carried on to claim her third career title after last winning one in September, 2010, in Quebec.

"The (calf) was getting bigger and bigger and I was feeling a bit weird on court. But you have to get on with things which aren't perfect. So I just tried to keep hanging in there.

"I've always known I'm a fighter, I always believed in myself," said the winner. In practise 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."

Kerber was Paszek's third seeded victim of the week after beating number eight Daniela Hantuchova and putting out holder and number one seed Marion Bartoli in the semis.

Against the Frenchwoman, who was runner-up at Wimbledon 2007, Paszek recovered from 4-0 down in the second set and a break down in the third to eventually take victory in more than three hours.

She continued her giant-killing act in Saturday's blustery conditions as she recovered a break in the second set after losing serve in the fifth game to trail 2-3.

Paszek fought hard to save five match points for Kerber in the ninth game of the second, holding for 4-5 before breaking the fifth seed a game later after Kerber double-faulted for a pair of break points.

The Austrian won the title on her third match point and heads to Wimbledon with a huge confidence boost.

Number eight Kerber missed out on her third trophy of 2012 after finally finding fitness after a series of injuries this season.

"She was playing very well in important moments and also when I had the match points," said Kerber. "Actually I couldn't do anything.

"She won the match and played very well today. I won also some good matches here, so now I'm ready for the next week in Wimbledon.

"It was a great week for me. Even if I lost today, I was in the final. It was a good match, I did everything that I could."

The men's title will be contested between wild card Andy Roddick and holder Andreas Seppi of Italy.

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