Andrea Petkovic on her lopsided defeat to Maria Sharapova
Andrea Petkovic was ousted by an in-form and hard hitting Maria Sharapova in the Quarter-finals of the French Open, as she lost out 6 - 0, 6 - 3 to the Russian. Petkovic who had defeated Sharapova at the Australian Open in January was expected to give a much tougher time to Sharapova, but the German disappointed as she stumbled from the very start. She will leave the tournament with her head held high though and one is sure that there are many trophies strewn across her path in the future.
In her post match press conference, Petkovic talks about her defeat to Sharapova and her own game on the day.
What went wrong today for you?
I think it was the beginning, definitely. I think I started off really slow. Well, actually, more my serve I think was a big problem today. I didn't feel my serve at all. And I also felt she played flawless in the first set. I think she maybe made two or three unforced errors. Normally you expect Maria to give you more free points. She didn't at all. I think she also played a great, solid match. So it wasn't only me. Definitely my serve wasn't as good as the previous matches before, so she took full advantage of it. I think in the second set I came back, and it was just maybe for an instant I could have turned the match. Unfor-tunately, I couldn't take the chances that I had. But I think it was just for an inch and maybe I would have turned. As I said, I think she played a great solid match. Yeah, she definitely deserved to win.
What was the biggest problem in Maria's game today?
I think she played long. There were very strong balls, but she plays very long balls, as well, and you can't attack on her balls. But she's very stable, mentally speaking. She's playing each point, and she's a great champion. I have huge respect. But I also think that today I didn't play my best tennis. I didn't play that well. When I play better, I have opportunities against any player in the world. But she did play very well today.
What's the difference between today and the match in the Australian Open, not just the result?
Well, I served much better, and that does make a huge difference against her, because I think she's one of the-- she has one of the best returns on the tour. In the Australian Open I served very well, but today I had no serve, no service. I think she played much better, as well, because she didn't make any unforced error. That did make a difference.
According to you, who could be the favorite of the tournament?
That's very difficult, but I think Maria has great experience. I think she has great opportunity to win the grand Grand Slam. I don't know how you say it. But mentally she's very stable. She played very well today. She's very solid. That makes her a lot of difference having the experience of winning, winning a slam. So she has a great opportunity. But all the others, I mean, all the other girls have an opportunity to win.
What do you think about the way Marion Bartoli evolved?
I played her in Strasbourg, and I did realize how well she plays. After the match, I said, Well, Marion I hope you're gonna recover, because she had withdrawn at that time. I said, I hope you're going to recover because you hit the ball perfectly, and I think you're going to be perfect in Paris. She does show that I was right.
So you're not surprised by the way her game has developed on clay?
No, not at all. I played against her, and, you know, when you're actually on the court playing against another player, you can feel the balls. I could feel that she had wonderful strokes. That's in Strasbourg that I did realize she would play very well.
All these gimmicks, all this routine in between the points, is it a problem for the opponent?
I don't know. I can't say for the others. I can't speak for the others. But as for me, I'm not looking at what the other player is doing. I'm just focusing on myself. I'm not looking at what she does, but all girls are different. If it makes her feel comfortable, she has to do it.
How do you think you've been in this particular tournament? Have you been pleased with how you've played, obviously, up until now, but overall and in comparison to how you did last year?
Well, I am pleased with the way I played here. I have to say I didn't really play -- except one set against Maria Kirilenko I didn't play my best tennis, but I was able to get through to the quarter-finals. Some-times that's worth more than playing well, incredibly well, and getting to the quarterfinals. So I'm pleased with my mental stability now. I'm pleased with the way-- also, today, you know, nothing was really going well, but I was able to stay in the match, and I almost turned it around. I'm pleased with the way I developed from last year, and I still think and I still believe I'm at the beginning of my road, and I'm going to be much stronger in the years to come. So it's okay. Of course today it wasn't my day at all, but I think you have to just look past that and try to learn from it.
And what will be your plans and preparations now to go on to the grass court season? How do you make that shift from Paris?
I really like playing on grass. I really enjoy-- I think I have a good volley, and I think I'm going to try to get in more often, and also try to play a little bit more slice and mix it up a little bit. So I'm really looking forward to developing my game and bringing it to the next level. I'm gonna take two or three days off, try to relax a little bit, take care of my body. You know, during a Grand Slam some things just turn out a little bit -- not injuries, but things start to hurt after three or two weeks. So I'm gonna take care of my body, and then go to Eastbourne and try to prepare.