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29. 06. 11. - 15:52

Azarenka seals Paszek exit at Wimbledon

The winning streak of Austria tennis sensation Tamira Paszek has come to an end.

The 20-year-old from Vorarlberg lost against Belarusian ace Victoria Azarenka in straight sets (3-6, 1-6) in the quarter final of the ATP Grand Slam event at Wimbledon, London, Great Britain, yesterday evening (Tues).

Paszek stood no chance against Azarenka, 21, in a match which had to be postponed and preliminarily stopped due to rain. Had she beaten her opponent yesterday, Paszek would have become the first Austrian woman to reach the semi final of a Grand Slam tournament.

Nevertheless, Paszek can be satisfied with her performance as her victories at Wimbledon before the defeat yesterday will help her make up dozens of spots in the world ranking. The young player from the western province of Vorarlberg will be ranked around position 40 at the beginning of next week. She was only 80th when she arrived in London earlier this month.

"I’ll take wonderful memories home. I’m extremely happy about having reached the quarter final here. It was a great tournament for me," Paszek said today, adding that the experiences will help her stay motivated for the second half of the season.

"I’d like to congratulate my opponent. Azarenka was clearly better than me yesterday," she said.

Paszek has been regarded as one of the biggest talents in the sport for years. Her career hit a low in 2009 when she was banned from competing after undergoing a controversial treatment to her blood. Plagued by chronic back pains, Paszek consulted an alternative medicine expert who took a blood sample from Paszek. She injected it again after having added homeopathic substances.

Paszek’s suspension was lifted early after investigators failed to pinpoint clear evidence that she broke national or international doping rules. However, it took Paszek months to deliver convincing performances after the dispute.

Paszek was the last remaining Austrian at Wimbledon. Jürgen Melzer, the Austrian number one in world tennis, was beaten by Belgian Xavier Malisse in the third round of the men’s singles in straight sets (6-7, 3-6, 0-6) on Saturday. Melzer, 30, won the London tournament’s doubles event with German partner Philipp Petzschner last year. He won the 1999 Wimbledon boys’ singles tournament and reached the quarter final of the 2010 Wimbledon singles as well as the semi final of last year’s French Open in Paris, France.

Andreas Haider-Maurer, 24, dropped out in the second round against Argentine star David Nalbandian last Thursday. Haider-Maurer – who revealed he was a big fan of Nalbandian when he topped the ATP ranking some years ago – lost after a thrilling battle lasting more than two and a half hours (3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6). Haider-Maurer only recently achieved a comeback on the ATP tour. He was sidelined for a long time due to pneumonia.

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