Champ Tamira seeks successful return to ‘home’ tournament

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Defending AEGON International champion Tamira Paszek spoke of her excitement to revisit the site of her last WTA triumph – admitting returning to Eastbourne feels like a homecoming.

The 22-year-old upset the odds last year when she came into the tournament unseeded but saved five match points in the final to come out on top against German fifth seed and world No.9 Angelique Kerber 5-7, 6-3, 7-5. Despite being from Austria, Paszek has an important link to Eastbourne as her godparents reside in the town – a taste of familiarity which she believes played a major role in her excellent form last year.

And set to take to the Devonshire Park courts again at the event from June 15-22 to defend her title, the world No.30 has her eyes set on repeating the trick again this year. “It is such a wonderful event and it would be the most amazing thing if I could possibly win it for the second time,” she said.

“Last year I came into it just looking to play a few games and that seemed to go pretty well for me so I don’t see why it can’t happen again.

“[Eastbourne] is such a cute little place, I go to the beach and I have family who live there so I stay at their house and it feels like I am coming home.”