Austria’s Tamira Paszek, who will play American Madison Keys in the second round, likes to relax by watching romantic movies, loves cooking and, when a child, decided it would be healthier to play tennis than to eat “french fries with ketchup” ….
Australian Open: What did you do for New Year’s Eve?
Tamira Paszek: I actually went to see the kids' fireworks in Brisbane, the one at 8:45pm. I then bumped into two players – it was fun, we were hanging out in the bar, but drinking water because we were all still playing. And then I fell asleep, but luckily I woke up right before midnight for the fireworks, which I watched from my room. Actually, my New Year's Eve was pretty boring really.
AO: Did you make any New Year's resolutions?
Paszek: I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions. I think you can change things whenever you want to. I would rather see and feel how my year was going than say from the outset what I was going to do.
AO: We've heard that you like to cook. Is this true?
Paszek: I love cooking. My dad was a baker and a pastry chef - I didn't inherit any of his talent for it though. I love cooking, it relaxes me. I like to stand in the kitchen, put on some music and try out some different recipes. I don't often get to cook on tour, as I stay in hotels and travel around most of the time, but when I’m at Wimbledon I also find time to cook.
AO: Who first introduced you to tennis?
Paszek: It was my mum who first introduced me to tennis. She loves tennis, she's absolutely crazy about it. When I was younger, I used to go with her to her tennis club and watch her from the umpire's chair. Normally I would just be sitting there eating french fries with ketchup. So one day I thought it might be healthier and more entertaining to actually try tennis out. My younger brother plays tennis now as well. He travels with me for two months in the summer during his school vacation, and it’s always fun to have him around. He just turned 15, and he is such a gentleman now, he even holds the door open for me.
Tennis has always been a family affair for me. My dad never played tennis, however, even though he was a squash coach for awhile in Canada. It's fun to have my family around, they give me great positive energy – I love it. My mum hardly ever travels with me though on tour now, she has to look after my little brother and my two dogs, Paris and JoJo.
AO: What is your best method to fall asleep?
Paszek: Definitely watching TV helps me fall asleep. Listening to the voice on TV and just drifting away helps me relax when I'm really stressed. Watching a good romantic comedy always seems to do the trick. Music also helps me relax, I never count sheep or anything like that – that certainly doesn't help me.
AO: If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
Paszek: I would love to read people's minds: I would like to be telepathic. That would be fun, and would also help on the tennis court. I love watching people and hearing their opinions, so this way I would just know and wouldn't have to ask.
AO: What is your best memory of Australia?
Paszek: That is easy. The Australian Open in Melbourne was the first tournament I ever played as a pro in 2007, so Melbourne and Australia will always have a special place in my heart. I love this country, the people and, well, I love everything about Australia! I'm also really looking forward to going to the zoo while I’m here, I hear it is amazing. I just love the koalas, they are so cute!
AO: What are the plans for the year ahead?
Paszek: I actually feel really happy where I am right now. I’m just living day by day. I’m enjoying traveling on the tour, trying my best everyday and working hard to improve. I had a tough off-season – five weeks of strenuous training, so I’m looking forward to transferring my training into my games. I hope things work out the way I want them to. But for the moment, I’m really happy and love where I am at.