Tamira Crowned In Québec
Published September 19, 2010 12:00
QUÉBEC CITY, Canada - Austrian teenager Tamira Paszek made a forceful return to the winner's circle in Québec City Sunday afternoon, edging Bethanie Mattek-Sands for her second career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title.
Paszek, a former No.35 who had to make it through qualifying this week on account of her current No.151 ranking, didn't drop a set en route to the final and showed she could still play big time tennis on Court Bell, saving two set points in the first set and rallying from a 3-1 deficit in the third to win, 76(6) 26 75.
"It's overwhelming," said Paszek, who has ties with Canada - her father lived there for 15 years. "I'm extremely happy. Anytime you win a tournament for the first time it's very special. This is something I'll remember the rest of my life."
Paszek's 2009 was marred by injury, and at only 19 she is trying to work her way back up. She is projected to return to the Top 100 after this. "I want to thank my family and friends for supporting me during tough times last year.
"I always believed I could come back."
Paszek is now 2-1 in career finals, also winning in Portoroz as a 15-year-old in 2006. She was a runner-up to Patty Schnyder at Bali in 2008.
Mattek-Sands reached her first career final here in 2008, finishing runner-up to Nadia Petrova in three sets. This year the American lost in another tight one.
"This is my best tournament," Mattek-Sands said. "When I made the final here again I really wanted to get my picture up on the champion's wall. Tamira is a tough player. She was injured for a little bit but obviously playing qualifying here and making it all the way to the final, she has been playing really well."
"In the end it was so even, it was just who fought the most," Paszek added. "We played some great tennis. I just fought to the maximum at the end."
Having started the season ranked outside the Top 150, Mattek-Sands, a former world No.37, is projected to return to the Top 65 after this week. "I've gotten a lot of matches under my belt this year," said the American, whose semifinal win over No.3 seed Lucie Safarova was her 38th of the year. "I've been healthy. The key to my game is movement and fitness. I need to be healthy."
In the doubles final, Swedes Sofia Arvidsson and Johanna Larsson won their first Tour title together, outlasting top seeds Mattek-Sands and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the final, 61 26 106. Arvidsson and Larsson both won their first Tour doubles titles. For Larsson it was a first Tour title of any kind.