A. PETKOVIC/E. Makarova
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Are you happy with that performance? What were you most pleased about if you were?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, it was a tough match. I didn't necessarily play my best tennis. I was more pleased with the first match. Then again, she also didn't really allow me to play my best tennis. She played very deep and very flat and fast and tried to attack everything that was short from my side.
It was really difficult. It felt at times like a self- defense. But I was pleased with the way I moved and the way I served. I think I got a lot of the free points on my serve.
Also I tried to take the offense when I had the chance. I think that was the game plan, and I somehow made it through. (Laughter.)
Q. What do you know of Sam Crawford, who you play next?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: I don't know anything. I don't know anything. It's going to be classic YouTube stalking from my side. I don't know if I'm going to find a lot, but she must be playing tremendously well to beat Bencic and win -- was it two or three qualifying rounds?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: So she won a lot of matches already so she must be in a good groove. My coach, he watched almost the whole match until he came out on court, so I'm going to talk to him and listen to what he's got to say.
Q. What's the most difficult thing about the first tournament of the season?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: I think the most difficult thing is just -- now it comes a catch phrase; I have to put $5 in a jar -- but playing point by point. It's much more difficult when you haven't played matches for a long time because it's sort of an automatic thing as a tennis player when you played a lot of matches.
It's maybe also a thing that you call confidence where you just are -- where it's just an automatism where you can switch on and off, because you have to relax in between the points, but then you are 100% focused.
I feel like when you haven't played a lot of matches you somehow -- it's difficult to focus on points and play the important points very well.
I think I did that quite well. I've worked a lot on the mental side with Jan, so I think that's the most challenging in the first tournament.
Q. I'm wondering what, if anything, you took away from Angelique Kerber's turnaround last year. She had a really tough start. You guys are good friends. She was able to kind of find her good tennis again at the bottom part of the year.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah, well, I think I -- I mean, I played her in the match that turned it around in Charleston. (Laughter.) She was playing terribly before, and against me she played really well. I think it just takes a really difficult match that you have to go through.
The quarterfinals before she played me she beat Begu and didn't play very well. She beat her somehow; very close; two tiebreaks; she was down 5-1 in the first set; she had lost to her in the Australian Open in the first round.
So I think it's a mental switch in your head. I think when you get through a really tough match that you yourself maybe make up to be more than it is in your head, and I think Angie did that and then she just let loose and played incredible tennis after that.
I want to remind everybody that I called her winning Stuttgart. (Laughter.) Before anything had started. So I just wanted to throw that in. (Laughter.)
Q. Glad you did.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah. Glad to.
Q. Only a few days into the season and a lot of the top players are injured.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yes.
Q. What do you think the reason is?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: It's been amazing really. I really don't know what to say to that except for I think the off-season is very difficult thing to manage to be on pointe, in a good shape.
It's the part of the year where you work the hardest physically, and I think you have to have really good people around you to be on pointe and to not get injured, because you work out very hard.
Then again, it's all the top players and they have the best people around them, so it's strange. To me, I understand it more when it's players who maybe don't have yet a team around them that knows what they're doing. I know the team of the top players, and they are amazing at what they do.
So it's maybe just bad luck sometimes and it's a coincidence that all the top players are injured now or struggling. I don't know. Also if you play only one tournament before the Australian Open you take extra precautionary I guess compared to other tournaments maybe where you play through with a little pain.
I don't know how bad it is so I don't really want to comment on something that I don't know what it is. But it's been a strange coincidence, yeah.
Q. Opens things up, doesn't it, with the top girls out? What does that do for you players on the sort of next level down?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, if I know them well, the top players, I think they still will be in good shape when it comes to the Australian Open.
As I said, I don't know how bad the injuries really are and if they are maybe just being extra precautious here.
But, you know, even with the top players around, you saw at the US Open that there is always a possibility for us also to get through with a little luck, with a good draw, with things happening in the other parts of the draw.
So the Grand Slams are always just exciting things, and everybody is, yeah, just -- I totally lost what I wanted to say, so I'm just going to pretend that it was very smart.
Do you think I'm getting sick?
Q. Yeah, I do.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: I'm kind of scared. Maybe it's the jet lag. I had it three or four times where I'm just rambling on and I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. I'm really sorry, and I will think about your question and answer it properly the next time.
Q. Speaking of Angie, you obviously know her very well. What is it about her, whether it's her personality or game style, this lends itself to those epic three-setters?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: That's a very good question.
Q. She always seemed best supporting actress on the WTA. What do you see as maybe being why that is?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, I think one part of her game style is that she plays fast but just not too fast to make the other girls play well, you know?
She's too good for the lower-ranked players, but for the top players I think she plays exactly the pave they need to play really well. You know what I mean?
Q. Yeah, yeah.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: But Angie is somebody, when she gets challenged, she gets the best out of her as well. So I think these two things coming together just make for Hollywood, popcorn, great movie nights. I don't know.
Every time I know she's playing someone like Azarenka Sharapova, Williams, I just know it's going to be an epic three-setter drama, whatever.
And then she retrieves so many balls, which always makes for great rallies. She's such a fighter and always stays in the match. So I really think that that has something to do with it.
Then again, I'm not Albert Einstein and I don't know the exact answer.
Q. How hard is it playing someone like Crawford who you don't really know anything about?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: I don't necessarily like to play players that I don't know at all. I just like to be prepared, and having played them once before has always helped me.
But for me, I'm already very happy that I have two matches, two good matches before the Australian Open, because I'm not going to go to Sydney. I have a great doubles with Angie and two more matches to go, so I'm already really satisfied with the way things went so far.
Hopefully I can add another one to my belt, but I'm not putting any pressure on myself, no.
Q. Thinking back to what happened last year, right now do you feel normal, like old times, or kind of refreshed?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: I feel refreshed. I feel definitely refreshed. I feel kind of like a teenager again when I first started on tour just because I see everything -- you know, it's the -- where did I see it?
It's some sitcom where she say the break up goggles. When you want to break up with somebody and you are certain you want you break up but them, but all a sudden you see all the good things. That's how you I feel with tennis. Not that I want to break up with tennis, but now I'm seeing all the nice things that I wanted to leave behind me. I'm really enjoying myself.
Q. What are those goggles called that you have on now?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: I don't know. I don't know. I will write a note and give an answer to you, okay? (Laughter.)
Do you know who Jack white is now?
Q. By the way, I didn't know him.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: (Hides head under tablecloth.) That's my answer. (Laughter.)