Tamira Paszek Fights Through Caroline Wozniacki

| June 27, 2012 | 0 Comments

There is a new Cinderella and a new fan favorite who is on the prowl and stalking the WTA’s upper echelon. Three weeks ago, Austrian Tamira Paszek was a relative unknown who had won just 2 matches against 13 losses this season.  Adjusting to a coaching change, the 5’6” power hitter first showed signs of transition by winning her third career tour title at Eastbourne.

Today, Tamira Paszek upended former world number one and 9th seed Caroline Wozniacki in one of the best first round matches ever played on Wimbledon grass. The quality of this tennis was so high that the women’s brackets will be challenged to equal the quality of this hard hitting contest played on the enclosed center court.  This match would have been a dynamic final. Instead, Caroline Wozniacki, the Great Dane, will be heading home after an unsuccessful visit to London’s two premier grass court events.  She was ineffective in her first round match at Eastbourne and many observers felt she was ripe for picking.    

 

Tamira Paszek

Tamira Paszek

Caroline Wozniacki did not lose this match.  Tamira Paszek bucked the odds and came back after relinquishing a big lead in the first set to record a stirring 4-6, 7-6 (45), 6-4 triumph. This match was women’s tennis at its best with two talented combatants that refused to lose. In a rare and gripping display of power and accuracy, Paszek seemed to have more tools than Caroline.  She occasionally deployed a stunning drop shot and displayed a picture-book lob combination to make Wozniacki surrender the baseline.

Tamira’s best weapon, a piercing forehand drive, kept Wozniacki on the run and resulted in 32 of her 54 outright winners. This match was continued from last night and exceeded three hours and fifteen minutes. Paszek fought off 4 second set match points and never seemed nervous on Wimbledon’s premier court.

For Wozniacki, this was an unfortunate draw.  On this day, she could have beaten most players in the world. But, Paszek had all the answers and outplayed Caroline in the crucial last game. With Paszek serving at 5-3, Caroline responded with a pressure break, her 7th, to get back on serve.  The points were spectacular.  The 9 seed fired cross court forehands and followed them to net for half volley winners.  Then, Caroline rifled a fierce backhand winner down the line to get to 4-5.

Both players broke service 7 times. Wozniacki looked out of the first set at 0-4, but Caroline is a dangerous competitor when cornered.  The Dane came through to discourage Paszek and steal the first set.

After that, both players jumped on each other’s serves but when the match was on serve in the third, Caroline surrendered the painful break that sent her to the locker room.  

In the second set, Caroline broke at 5-4, but could not serve out the match.  She might lose some sleep over that critical service game.

Both competitors are 21-years old. For Paszek, there is no doubt, her star is rising.  Lady Caroline will have some soul searching to do, but there is no way this champion will not be back.

As a sidebar, Chris Everett is becoming a bit of distraction to objective viewing.  This woman is the Shirley Temple of women’s tennis.  She constantly holds today’s players to her own accomplishments.  In truth, she would be hard-pressed to hold a position in today’s top ten.  Her critical analysis of Wozniacki is frustrating and belittling. The word to Chris Everett is wake up and smell the roses.  The multi-Grand Slam winner could not withstand today’s training regimens and fierce competition. Hey Chrissie, get with the program and leave Wozniacki alone.

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