When Austrian women’s tennis compete against Latvia in a playoff match for the Billie Jean, formerly Fed Cup, at Multiversum Schwechat from Friday, there will be a reunion with an old acquaintance: Tamira Paszek, who was once a highly praised talent, was one of the best talent. A surprise after many setbacks and now only 492nd in the world rankings, she was nominated as the single by Captain Marion Maruska.
When she returns after five years, the 31-year-old from Vorarlberg has to deal with a prominent opponent. Opposite her is none other than Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open winner. However, you can also get away with being the world’s 18th seed. Don’t expect any miracles after her recent return from the WTA Finals in Texas, where she competed in doubles.
Sinja Krause, host number one in the absence of Austria’s top 100 players Julia Graber, next plays Daniela Vismane. Melanie Klavner and Krause will compete in doubles on Saturday for Austria.
Instead of Paszek, Barbara Hass was expected. For Maruska, this was not a decision against Haas, but Pasek’s. “She’s played very well the past few weeks, and the surface here suits her very well,” Maruska said.
Strangers with big goals
In any case, Paszek has enough experience in team competition. She made her debut against France in 2005 when she was just 14 years old, and has since had seven wins and 12 defeats in singles. “Old conditions are familiar somewhere, but new after so many years. A very nice feeling to play for Austria in general. The last memories of the FA Cup in Dornbirn were moments of goosebumps,” Paszek said. “I feel good and fit and I’m looking forward to playing.”
In both cases, the Austrians are outsiders in a duel with Ostapenko and Co.. The goal is still clear: a home win will secure a place in the 2023 qualifying group.(laugh)
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