2012 Aegon International

An interview with Tamira Paszek

Tamira 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.

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