She has been living and training in Dubai for sometime now and considers the city her home. No wonder then that Austrian Tamira Paszek is excited about playing at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships starting February 18. Her campaign though is set to begin a bit earlier, thanks to the incredibly strong field. Despite a world ranking of 26, she will have to go through the qualifiers and in an exclusive interview to XPRESS, the winner of three WTA Tour titles talks about her goals, expectations and of course her love for Dubai.
“Well…I have my residence there [in Dubai] and I train there a lot of times. I always love coming back. I love the city, love the place, it’s always a pleasure being home,” she said.
And the 22-year-old has high hopes of making the main draw in Dubai.
“I still have to qualify. It’s a great field, a very strong one. I’ll try my level best to make it through the qualifiers and look forward to a good tournament,” she said.
Paszek is one of the shorter players on the Tour standing at 5’5”. But she believes she has the confidence to beat players who tower over her.
“I think it’s a lot involved with confidence and how you feel. You are in practice preparing for those matches. You just go out there and at the end of the day if you want to reach your goals, you have to beat everyone. Just go out there and fight and try to do your level best,” she said.
Given her two quarter-final appearances at Wimbledon and her win at Eastbourne last year, it’s easy to see that grass is her favoured surface.
“Grass and hard courts are my favourite surfaces. I have always felt well on grass and the fast surface suits my game, so I am looking forward to that again,” she said.
So, what goals has she set for herself this year?
“I don’t really set ranking goals officially. It’s more of a private thing. If I work hard, stay healthy, top-20 is a reasonable goal,” she said.