The International Tennis Federation (ITF) confirmed today that Austrian rising star Tamira Paszek is eligible for entry into the 2012 Wimbledon Olympics tennis tournament, following a successful appeal.
Brought forward by Tennis Austria, the appeal was made against the ITF Olympic Committee’s decision not to allow Paszek into the Olympic tennis event following complications with fulfilling the Fed Cup element of the eligibility rule for the 2012 Olympics.
A strong competitor in the top 40 and Austria’s current number 1 female tennis player, Paszek with the help of Tennis Austria launched a convincing appeal that included a number of documents proving her availability and willingness to compete in Fed Cup events during 2010. Affidavits were submitted by Jurgan Waber, Austrian Fed Cup captain, stating that despite making herself available for competition she was not selected so was unable to participate in the required number of events.
The Fed Cup element of the Olympic Eligibility Rule has been a bone of contention for many players, including world number 1 Roger Federer, who believe it is simply unfair to expect such a commitment. However in deciding to uphold Ms Paszek’s appeal by confirming that two components of the rule were fulfilled by her – she made herself available to compete in Fed Cup events during the Olympic cycle and she is a player who has a strong and good standing with Tennis Austria – the ITF Board has shown some willingness to judge the eligibility of players on an individual basis.
Replacing Swiss player Timea Bacsinszky, who has announced that she will not compete in the Olympics, the three-time WTA title winner will represent Austria during the event. A promising talent since her professional debut in 2007, 2012 has seen Paszek mature as a skilled and difficult opponent with her title win at Eastbourne over Angelique Kerber. Upsetting former world number 1 Caroline Wozniacki during the opening round of Wimbledon, the 21-year old successfully progressed to the quarter finals where she lost out to Victoria Azarenka. An exciting Olympic prospect, Paszek will definitely be one to watch when the tennis event commences at the end of the month.
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