Peer beats Paszek

Tamira Paszek’s first Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tour semi final in 10 months turned out to be a three-hour thriller at the weekend.

The Austrian tennis star lost against Shahar Peer who headed the field of the 220,000-US dollar hard court event in Washington, DC, United States. The Israeli won in three sets (6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 4-6). The match lasted three hours and seven minutes on Saturday. The clash occurred just one day after Paszek defeated Canadian Stephanie Dubois in three hours and 42 minutes (5-7, 6-4, 7-6).

Russian Nadia Petrova won the tournament. It took her just two sets (7-5, 6-2) to beat Peer in the final.

Paszek seems to have achieved an upturn in form. The 20-year-old from Dornbirn, Vorarlberg, reached the quarter final at Wimbledon in London, United Kingdom, one of the most prestigious WTA tournaments in the world, last month.

Paszek had been ranked 80th when she arrived in London to compete at Wimbledon. She is currently listed 41st by the WTA.

Now all eyes are on Andreas Haider-Maurer and Thomas Muster in Kitzbühel. Haider-Maurer, 24, is Austria’s biggest hope for success at the 450,000-US dollar event in the Tyrolean Alps after Jürgen Melzer decided not to compete in “Kitz.” The 30-year-old 2010 Wimbledon doubles champ is currently in the USA. He plans to play a few hard court tournaments there as the elite of the sport get ready for the US Open. The Grand Slam tournament, which traditionally takes place in New York City, starts on 29 August.

Haider-Maurer is set to clash with Croat Antonio Veic, while Muster faces German Philipp Kohlschreiber. Muster, 43, launched a comeback in professional tennis last year. He was the number one of the sport in 1996. One year earlier, he won the French Open in Paris.

Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela, Croat Ivan Ljubicic, Italian Andreas Seppi and Spaniard Feliciano Lopez will also compete in the tournament which starts today (Mon). There had been no ATP event in Kitzbühel in the past three years due to organisers’ financial difficulties sparked by a struggle to find sponsors.