Nach ihrem Auftaktsieg in Peking entschuldigt sich Andrea Petkovic für ihre Aussagen über die chinesischen Fans. Die Deutsche fühlt sich aber auch falsch verstanden.
Wirbel um Andrea Petkovic in China: Nach ihrem Auftakterfolg beim WTA-Turnier in Peking hat sich die 28-Jährige für ihre Aussagen über die Tennisfans im Reich der Mitte entschuldigt.
In der vergangenen Woche hatte Petkovic in Wuhan den Schiedsrichter aufgefordert, die chinesisch sprechenden Zuschauer zu ermahnen: "Die Englischsprachigen wissen, wie sie sich benehmen sollen."
Das Video des Vorfalls verbreitete sich über die sozialen Netzwerke, Petkovic wurde vereinzelt sogar Rassismus vorgeworfen.
"Ich habe das nicht allgemein gemeint", stellte sie in Peking klar: "Ich habe das auf das Verhalten auf den Tennisplätzen bezogen. Wenn es irgendwer falsch aufgenommen hat, tut es mir sehr leid, denn ich will niemandem zu nahe treten."
Petkovic führte aus, dass sie selbst nicht wisse, wie sie sich bei Badminton- oder Tischtennis-Matches verhalten solle, weil "wir die in Deutschland nicht so oft haben".
Tennis sei in China eine relativ neue Sportart, das Turnier in Peking bestehe jedoch seit Jahren, daher seien die Unterschiede zwischen Peking und der erst vor zwei Jahren in Wuhan eingeführten Veranstaltung deutlich zu erkennen.
Petkovic hatte in der Vergangenheit desöfteren betont, dass die Asientour am Ende des Tennisjahres nicht zu ihren liebsten Reisen gehört.
BEIJING, China - Eugenie Bouchard's battle with ongoing concussion symptoms continued on Monday at the China Open, where she was forced to retire down 6-2, 1-1 to Andrea Petkovic in the first round. Petkovic will play Sam Stosur in the second round.
After withdrawing from the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open last week, Bouchard took the court in Beijing for the first time since withdrawing from the US Open with a concussion. She was able to play through the first set but after a tearful medical timeout two games into the second set, the Canadian retired, saluting the crowd through tears as she walked off the court.
Petkovic was so focused on her own game during the match that she was surprised when Bouchard threw in the towel.
"It came as a surprise and not as a surprise," Petkovic said. "Obviously I knew what happened during the US Open and her struggles before. But I thought that she played really well in the match. Obviously she probably wasn't as focused as normally, I would say, or maybe she couldn't keep up the focus for each and every point. But I felt like she was hitting the ball well. And I was playing really well, too."
Bouchard did not meet with the media after the match but Petkovic spoke to her on court. "I just asked her what happened, and she told me that she felt very dizzy," she said. "Then I asked if it still was the concussion. She said, yeah, it tends to come back when she gets physically very active. I think she didn't say that, that's my words now.
"But also with the stress, when it's a lot of people, adrenaline, it does stuff with your brain if you're healthy, so imagine having an injury. That's just my interpretation maybe of the whole situation. I just said I feel it's really bad luck because I thought she was playing so well again and I hope she gets better and keeps up her good play." Bouchard, who was coached this week by Thomas Hogstedt, is currently entered in the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open next week.
"I feel like she was hitting the ball really well, which I didn't see in the first half of the year maybe," Petkovic said. "Like the impact [with the ball] was really good."
For her part, Petkovic played a solid match to end a three-match losing streak. But Petkovic says it was a difficult match to prepare for given the circumstances surrounding Bouchard's injury.
"The thing is, you've been around the tennis tour a lot, people talk," Petkovic explained. "It's all they have to do it seems in this world. So everybody comes to you and has an opinion on what is happening.
"Some say, like, 'She has nothing, I saw her practicing really hard.' The other one's like, 'She's not going to play, she's not going to even come on court.' Sometimes for the opponent it's a really tricky situation when you're not really sure about the state of health of the other girl because everybody has an opinion and everybody thinks they know it best.
"That's why maybe I was definitely even more focused than I am normally and tried really to just see my things and just do what's best for me and not even look on the other side."
Doing what's best for her has meant taking some difficult losses in Asia for Petkovic.
"I was working on a lot of things that I felt like I need to improve, especially after the matches I had during the American tour where I played Serena Williams and Simona Halep, the world No.1 and No.2 players respectively," Petkovic said. "That was really I wouldn't say a turning point, but it was really two matches that motivated me, remotivated me maybe, in the second part of my career now where I felt like I need to improve things in order to get back to the top.
"So I've been really working on that. That's why I took the losses in Wuhan and Guangzhou quite hard because I felt like things were not coming together."
Petkovic still has an outside shot of qualifying for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, though she would need to win the title this week to keep her chances alive. There is also the prospect of playing the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai. But Petkovic says her motivation during the last weeks of the season comes from the simple desire to improve her game.
"I think that's the only way how you can get over the tiredness, still going out there and keep working until you're on vacation and then you can drink beer and relax," she said, laughing.