This is why it’s so difficult to predict a winner in sports. Coming into the 2012 AEGON International (Eastbourne), Austria’s Tamira Paszek only owned 2 match victories this year against 13 losses. That included 11 one and done tournaments and 2 two and done tournaments. Eastbourne is a prestigious Wimbledon lead-in tournament, this year including Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki, Agnieszka Radwanska, Marion Bartoli and Angelique Kerber. If you picked Tamira Paszek to win at the start of Eastbourne 2012, you are either Tamira’s mother, a descendant of Nostradamus or certifiably insane. You are also one other thing…right on the money! Tamira defied the long odds and emerged 2012 AEGON International (Eastbourne) champion.
Paszek didn’t waltz to the title, instead needing a couple of stirring comebacks. In the semifinals, she stunned Marion Bartoli, coming back from 4-6 0-4 down to win in three sets. In the final against Angelique Kerber, she came back from 3-5 down in the third set, fighting off 5 match points to upset Kerber, 5-7 6-3 7-5. All of that occurred after she slipped and hurt her ankle in a previous game. She said she was focused more on the pain she was in rather than the score. You know…that’s probably a good thing. Had she been fixated on the score and being down 5 match points against a top player like Angelique, Tamira might have tightened up. Instead, she was able to come through for the biggest win of her career.