Tamira Paszek completed the quarter-final draw with a stellar performance to defeat Daniela Hantuchova in three sets in just under two hours.
The 21-year-old Austrian sent the Monaco-based ace crashing 6-4 3-6 6-1, leaving Hantuchova to pack her bags and set off to SW19 with just one win in two grass tournaments.
Paszek broke Hantuchova in the third game, but needed four set points to surge into an unexpected lead after 44 minutes.
But the Slovakian star stormed into a 3-0 lead, and with each player holding their serve games it was enough to level matters on her third set point.
Paszek’s powerful serve and volley game was in full force in the third set and, with the crowd cheering her on because of her family being based on the sleepy south coast resort, gave Eastbourne regular Hantuchova no chance with a rapid 6-1 thrashing — winning the last game to love on her serve and set up a quarter-final meeting with lofty Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova.
Paszek admitted, “It feels amazing to be winning here in Eastbourne. My whole family lives here, including my Godparents, so it already feels like home.
“It’s my second time here at Devonshire Park, and it’s just a wonderful feeling – it’s a pleasure coming back every year.
“I had a wrist injury after Dubai, which was pretty tough as I couldn’t hold the racquet any more. Then two days later in Indian Wells I had an accident in the gym and hurt my back, was in the hospital for a couple of hours with a bone bruise.
“Then the doctor said I shouldn’t play for the next one or two months. Once I started practicing again I got the same tendon inflammation on my wrist on the left side, so it just kept me off working – so that’s been my year until now.
“But now I’m healthy, playing well, so I’m really happy.”
|Tamira Paszek||Daniela Hantuchova|
|1st SERVE %||55/80 (69%)||54/76 (71%)|
|1st SERVE POINTS WON||44/55 (80%)||36/54 (67%)|
|2nd SERVE POINTS WON||11/25 (44%)||11/22 (50%)|
|BREAK POINTS WON||3/9 (33%)||1/2 (50%)|
|TOTAL RETURN POINTS WON||29/76 (38%)||25/80 (31%)|
|TOTAL POINTS WON||84/156 (54%)||72/156 (46%)|