The match of the day on Day 3 of the tournament had to have been the first round match between Tamira Paszek and Caroline Wozniacki. It was carried over from Tuesday, and they took the court with the score tied 2-2 in the first set. What followed was, in my eyes, the most entertaining women's match in a long time. Both women came out firing, and this was an entriely different Wozniacki from the one we have seen in the past. She was agressive, stepping into the court, and hitting away, but still maintaining her scrambling ability. Tamira Paszek, ranked 36 in the world, is coming off winning the title in Eastbourne and just missing out on a seed here at Wimbledon. This was no ordinary first round match, and the rain delay only added to the anticipation.
What struck me the most about Paszek was her incredibly smooth game. Her forehand is lethal, and she hits it with consistent pace and depth. It was this shot that enabled her to keep Wozniacki on the defensive. The match turned into an excellent contrast of styles. Both women were trying to impose their game on the other. Wozniacki, for her part, did an excellent job of hanging with Paszek's pace. If this was the Wozniacki of last year, this would have been over quickly. In the past, when she's been pushed around, she's tended to fold. Not today, and that's what made this match great. Each set was incredibly close, and there weren't too many lapses in quality.
In the end, Wozniacki was defeated in three close sets. It's very disappointing for her, obviously, but it's not a year ending disaster for her. She showed great improvements from last year, and while she's still behind the top players, she's showing she's serious about improving and taking the necessary steps. She now moves to her favorite surface, hard courts, and she can only improve. For Pazsek, this is a great opportunity. She made the quarterfinals last year, and there's no reason she can't duplicate that. But for one day, the best of women's tennis was on display on Centre Court. It was a thrilling match, and one deserving of the stage it was given.