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post #91 of 601 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 2011, 10:55 PM
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Cincinnati, 19.08.2011

An interview with: ANDREA PETKOVIC

After she beat Nadia Petrova 75 61 in the quarter-final of the Western & Southern Open.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

This is your second Premier semifinal of the year. Does it feel any different than the first time?
When was the first time?

Oh, yeah? (Laughter.) No, it feels awesomely great still. No, I was really satisfied with my performance. I'm always happy. Doesn't mat-ter if it's Premier level or international Grand Slam. Grand Slam's even better. Still was satisfied with the way I played, so that's more important.

You were holding your knee at one point in the first set.
Yes. Actually it scared the heck out of me because it cracked at one point and it was my injured knee where I had surgery three years ago. So I was really scared. But nothing happened. In my mind, when I looked at it, I felt like it was this big, and then five minutes later I looked at it again and it was perfectly fine. Then I told my coach how crazy I am and he started laughing.

We obviously saw you dance after your match. It's been almost a year since you first danced against Nadia at the US Open last year.
Oh, yeah.

Can you reflect a little bit on this past year?
You mean the development of the dancing or of my tennis?

Not about the dancing, just about the tennis.
I think the match against Nadia last year was sort of a breakthrough for me because I had a really bad phase in the US Open Series beforehand, and that match really bought me back to my confidence and back on perspective and on my way. I started working even harder. I was working hard before, but somehow that gave me motivation to work even harder and get more consistent and not have these phases where I lose three tournaments in a row first, second rounds. So I really wanted to get rid of it. I feel like I've improved this a lot, but I also feel like I still have so much more space. This year, for example Rome and Madrid I lost two times second round, and Eastbourne, Wimbledon, I lost first and third round. So once I get rid of this I'll be satisfied, but there is still so much more to improve.

When you lose early in tournaments, is there a common theme? Is there a part of your game that breaks down?
Most of the time it's when I expect myself to, you know, when I focus on my game before the tournament, when I don't think of where I want to go. But if I focus on my game and which parts I want to, you know, to see, to come to place, then most of the time I play good, I play my tennis. Then if somebody is better and beats me, that's fine with me. But the worst thing is when I expect myself to obtain certain results and then I forget about my game and I start to get tight and then nothing is working anymore. It's not the fore-hands or the backhand or the serve, but my whole game just breaks down, and very dramatically. It's always a lot of crying and bad behavior involved. It's actually probably quite interesting for others; for me, not so much. So I try to get rid of it.

You're No. 11 right now. With another win you'll get back in the top 10.
Oh, yeah?

Yeah. Do you think it's as possibility for you to be in the top 8 for the year-end Championships? Would you change your scheduling to maybe look to achieve that?
That would be really, really great for me if I could reach the Championships. But it's going to be really tough, because especially Petra and Marion are trailing with a lot points before me. But I think if I can hold my level that I'm playing now and if I can play consistent until the year end, that would be my great goal, to get to Istanbul. So I really have to try to focus now and play each match, even if there are little obstacles like in my first-round match here. I really have to focus now and try to play each match with 150% intensity, and then I might get my chances. So that's definitely a thing that I have a little eye on.

How would rate your defense now versus six months ago? Seems like you've improved. Do you agree?
Yeah, I improved. I worked a lot on my defense, because, you know, the thing was before I was always trying to go for my shots. Once I didn't feel so well and that was not working, I didn't have a plan B. I didn't have anything else, no slice, no high ball to recover. So it was basically, you know, win or lose, die or live with your game or you can go home. So I really tried to improve on having a Plan B and get-ting through matches where my game is not working. So I brought in my slice, which is not perfect yet. Sometimes it just flies like... But I try. I think the most important ball that I brought in now is my loop forehand and my loop backhand, when I'm running and try-ing to loop it up high and try to recover from that. It's still not perfect yet, but it's better than my slice. (Smiling.)

What are your expectations coming into this tournament? Obviously you want to play well every time. Are you beyond where you thought you would be now?
Yeah, because I was really struggling in my first-round match, and that day I felt terrible. I felt really tired. I don't know, it was just that one day where you feel awful. My goal was somehow to get through this match, and I was I think two points away from losing. I prob-ably should have lost this match. So after that, you know, most of the time it's like this after matches, like that when you get through these matches you just relax and start to play much better. That's what happened, I think. So the most important thing for me in this tournament was to get through that first-round match playing terrible and feeling awful.

Talk about your next match. What do you have to do well to win?
Well, I played against Jelena two times this season, and it was two times very good matches on a high level, but also very tough mat-ches because there were long rallies and it was very tough. The conditions here are really tough with the humidity, so I'm definitely going to have to play each point with full intensity. If it's Peng, I never played her before, so I really have to go on YouTube and also watch some matches and try to -- because I never played her before. I practiced once with her, but just like for an hour, so I would really have to work myself into her as a player.

Some players struggle with their fitness throughout the year, maintaining fitness, but you seem to have gotten fitter. Can you talk about that? Sometimes it seems like the way the schedule is you don't have breaks between tournaments to really commit and get in the gym.
Well, you know, the thing is I put a really good basis in the off-season in December. I really planned my vacation to have eight weeks, and I really made a perfect schedule with my fitness coach and coach. The first two weeks I was only working on my condition and fit-ness. There a lot of weights and running involved. I put a good basis there, so I felt like, okay, I'm on a good basis at the beginning of the year. Then naturally with just playing the tournaments and not being able to work as hard, your fitness just slowly goes down. So it was really important for me to take the break after Wimbledon. I took four weeks off and I took five days off where I didn't do anything, and then I took another three weeks where I worked as hard as I did in December also focusing more on the fitness than my tennis. That how I think I'm going to be able to survive this season. It's really tough, especially for me now this year. It's the first time where I have a lot of the matches. It's easier like when I was 50 in its world and I played two matches a tournament. It's much easier to stay on your fitness level. Now having these matches, you really have to make your scheduling right. I think the most important thing is after Wimbledon, even if you're not doing well and you feel like you have to gain some points, you have to try to avoid thinking about that. You have to get your fitness back on track if you want to survive the whole season. That's my opinion; everybody has their own.

Germany has a really strong Fed Cup team now.
Yes. We're going to win.

Can you share a little bit of the camaraderie you have with Julia and Sabine?
Sure. I think the most important thing about our friendship is that we've known each other for so long. I think Julia I know for like 12 years; Sabine for at least ten or nine. So it's a different thing when you grow up together. We always had the competition between each other, so it's nothing new now. Even if reporters and journalists from Germany, they sometimes try -- they tried in the beginning, but they saw very soon that it was impossible to put some kind of competition between us. But when it's always been there for ten years, it's nothing new even if you come to the top level now, to the pro level, to the premier, Grand Slams. It's just a thing. We always res-pected each other and we always shared rooms together. We went through so many things. I remember playing with Julia three 25,000 tournaments here in the States in Tampa, and Fort Walton Beach. (Laughing.) I mean, we didn't have no money. We lived off Pizza Hut all the time. These kind of things just brings you together. Doesn't matter if somebody is playing better or worse, I think we all know that we profit from each other. I know that I profit from Julia playing well; Julia knows she profits from Sabine playing well. So we just have this natural companionship that grew through the years. Sometimes Fed Cup teams are just like, Okay, now one week we have to be a team. Try to bring on some team spirit. But I think that just doesn't work as natural as it developed on our German team. So I'm really thrilled and I always love playing Fed Cup.

This is the first year for the combined event here. What do you like about it?
Well, I like when the guys are around because they're quite cute. Actually, I think Cincinnati did a really good job because I was a little afraid. Some tournaments have space problems, and I'm -- probably most of you know that I like to practice very much, so I need to have my time and I need to warm up one hour before my matches. I always got to do that here. So as long as I get my practice times, I don't mind having men being around at all.

Is there anyone you follow in particular in the men's game?
You mean...

Do you follow any specific men's player more than others?
Well, my favorite spectacular player is Tsonga, I think. He plays the most spectacular tennis. But I think everybody knows I'm a huge Rafa fan.

Except they three German players, there is Angelique Kerber, who beat you even.
Uh-huh. I think she has a 10-4 head to head with me.

What's going on with her?
No, no, she's going to come back. I called her and I asked her to come to my academy where I train, and she came there for four weeks and practiced really, really hard. I promise you she's going to be at least top 30 like in six months, because she worked really, really hard and she's a great player and she's definitely going to come back.

Sabine Lisicki Andrea Petkovic Julia Görges

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Show Goes on for Petkovic, Even in Defeat

Sabine Lisicki Andrea Petkovic Julia Görges
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post #93 of 601 (permalink) Old Aug 23rd, 2011, 01:15 PM
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An interview with Andrea's coach.
There are some great quotes on Andrea's career, and tennis generally.
Article is written in Serbian, so it may be problem with translation, let me know if you need help.
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Re: Petko Articles & Interviews

Cincinnati, 20.08.2011

An interview with: ANDREA PETKOVIC

After she was beaten by Jelena Jankovic 76(4) 61 in the semi-final of the Western & Southern Open.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Talk about the tear in your meniscus and the decision making about deciding whether to play or not?
Well, when I talked to you yesterday, I was still -- I had my cool-down and my stretching and I was still sort of warm and my muscles were still going so I didn't feel a lot of pain. Once I got back to the hotel, my knee started swelling up and I had massage. So said, Okay, I put some ice, I put some electricity, and I took a rest. When I woke up, my knee was really swollen and I couldn't walk at all anymore. So I started crying for one hour at first because I thought it's my ACL again. The thing was, last time I tore my ACL I had the swelling immediately. So I still had some hope somewhere in the back of my mind that it's not that. But it was the same feeling when I was walking, the same pain, and everything was exactly the same. So I was really scared. Once I got to the doctor, he did the tests that you do when you have ACL, and what I found out later, my ACL is not -- the restructured ACL is not vertical but a little bit like this. That's why the test does not work. They did it to me ten times once I tore my ACL back three years ago, so I knew immediately when he did it that it's not right, it doesn't feel right. So I cried for like three or four hours, because I was absolutely sure that my ACL was torn. I went to the MRI. I took like one hour and they sent the pictures to radiologist and to another radiologist. So finally they saw the restructured ACL is not vertical and this, and that's why the test did not work. I have a tear in the inner meniscus. So I felt reborn again and I want-ed to play. I hit for an hour before the match and it was fine. I tried to hide the taping, but it was a little tough because it was like two meters thick. (Laughter.) Yeah, I felt fine. I mean, I didn't feel too stable, but it was okay. I played fine. I felt okay. I played well the first set. I should have won maybe the first set, but Jelena played a great match, so I think it was okay. I hope I'll be ready for the US Open.

How difficult was it mentally to kind of get over the fear about the knee even knowing that it was a tear, stepping back on court and kind of knowing what it could and couldn't take?
It was definitely more the mental thing. I was really freaked out all day. You know, I normally cry like once in 20 years, and so today I took all my rying for the next 20 years. I think I was really mentally and emotionally really drained after the day today.

What did your coach tell you at the end of the first set? Such a tough lost in the first set. To get yourself ready for the second set, what did he say?
He said to me that I should try to keep the points shorter, because he saw that obviously my running into the forehand wasn't the best, and especially coming out of the corner. So he told me to try to keep the points shorter and try to step in for the spin volleys when she tries to loop it, and be more aggressive. Because normally I really -- return is one of my best shots, and today I didn't really -- Jelena was serving really well, but also I didn't really return aggressively today. So that's what he basically said, to try to step in and return more aggressively. Yeah, that's what I tried to do.

When you have to get so taped up on your leg, as you said, you had plenty of tape on there, when you're putting it on, is there any part of you thinking, What am I doing here? Maybe I ought to withdraw and rest up for the Open.
Actually, I thought about it. Once I knew it wasn't the ACL I knew I was going to play. That was 100%, even when they did the taping and everything. The audience come and want to see two semifinals and they pay a lot money. I talked to the doctor, and he said, Lis-ten, with the tape it's not going to get worse. I'm not the type of per-son to just withdraw and leave the audience out there. It kind of sucks. You know, when you go I go to concerts and the band comes two hours late and plays for 45 minutes and then they leave, then I'm really, really pissed. I just tried to put myself in their position. The moment that I knew I'm probably going to be fine for the US Open I knew I'm going to play. And I would rather die than retire, so the decision was quite easy for me. The only thing the ACL, if it was the ACL I would have withdrawn. But that's the only thing.

Talk about the problems you had with your serve in the second set. You got broken three times. What happened?
I lost a little bit of rhythm on my serve. In the first set I had a quite high percentage of my first serve and I was placing it quite well. I obviously tried to serve more to her forehand, and I think once she got used to it and started returning to my feet, I started changing it up, which broke my rhythm. Then in the second set, my percentage just dropped and so she went for my second serves. I think after such a close set, it's not necessarily that you have to changes something, maybe it's just two or three points that make the difference. In my head it was like, okay, she's returning deep to my feet. I have to change something, which destroyed any rhythm on the serve. I think my mental status after losing such a tough set shouldn't be, oh, change your whole game, but just try to be more focused on the important key moments.

At 1-4, there were some dancing guys on the screen. You came out and were smiling. That's pretty atypical. Does that come easily? Do you have to force yourself to enjoy out there?
The first set I really enjoyed because I think it was some pretty good tennis. When I see something funny, I still laugh I think even if it's a really bad situation. So even when I drove -- because my coach, he cannot park, you know, so even when there is like ten parking spaces, he's like, Where should I go? Where should I go? Where should I go? And he gets nervous and really tight. So even when we were driving up to the MRI - and I think they only opened up the place for me because there was nobody and 200 parking places - he drove up and I was crying and I still had to make the joke, Where should you park? Where should you park? So that's something that's just in my nature. I hope that stays. Maybe when I get old I'll get grumpy. I'm still young.

You talk about your ACL being a different way than it should be. Do you need to have that corrected at some point?
No, I think it's fine because I feel stable. I feel really totally fine. Obviously I build up a lot muscles around it. So my legs are strong and they can hold everything. Just this test they do, it just doesn't work, and it scared the hell out of me in the first moment because I thought really, okay, the ACL is gone. The problem is this movie in your mind that just starts to go. Okay, eight months again rehab. I really was not sure if I'm going to do it again. I'm not sure, because it was really tough going back playing challengers and fighting through all that again. I'm not sure if I would have done it. It was basically, okay, is this over or, you know.

Was there any disagreement on your team about whether or not you should pull out? Obviously you had the final vote. Talk about the discussions you had.
Well, my team was basically on my side. They supported me in playing. The problem were my parents. They called like 700 times. They called the WTA, they called the doctors of the WTA, they called the physios, which is quite embarrassing. They called everybody and really didn't want me to play. Obviously they had to go through much more when I was injured than myself. People who are parents probably can understand them. So that was the biggest fight. Actually I didn't call them until -- I didn't know what was happening, so they thought I was lying to them when I told them nothing serious. It's just the meniscus, a little tear. They thought I was lying and just want to calm them down. So this was the biggest fight, my parents calling my coach ten hundred times and trying to shut down the whole tournament. But otherwise it's fine.

Same question I asked you in June. Things have changed. If you were writing a story going into the US Open, what would be the storylines?
Well, I would still stay with my statement that I had back then. I still think -- and now with Serena coming back, even better -- I still think it's a nice story, you know, these new girls, up-and-coming girls, these young girls like Azarenka, Kvitova being able to win a Grand Slam, and Kvitova showed it. But still, at the same time, Clijsters, Williams and all these old girls are still there and of course also want-ing to win the Grand Slam. So I think that's it's a nice clash of generations, and my title would still be, Clash of Generations.

Sabine Lisicki Andrea Petkovic Julia Görges
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Gear Talk: Andrea Petkovic Q&A 08/26/2011 - 9:38 AM

The symphony of the streets—jarring jackhammers, bleating beeping of car horns and rumblings of subway cars beneath the sidewalk—was momentarily muted when the earth hiccuped on Tuesday afternoon. A couple of hours after the first earthquake to hit New York City in decades sent scores of people streaming out of office buildings in lower Manhattan, Andrea Petkovic was neither shaken nor stirred.

The world No. 11 spent some of her afternoon smiling while swinging her racquet without the benefit of a ball or a court inside the cavernous Pier 59 Studios overlooking the Hudson River. Petkovic perfomed the pantomime shots during a photo shoot for adidas, her apparel company.

Swinging without stress is an aim for Petkovic, who tore the meniscus in her right knee—the same knee in which she underwent surgery three years ago to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament—and played with taping around her right leg en route to her fifth semifinal of the season last week in Cincinnati. Though other seeded players, including Serena Williams and Tomas Berdych, withdrew or retired from the event, Petkovic said she'd rather perish than pull out.

"I’d rather die than retire," Petkovic said. "The audience comes and wants to see two semifinals. They pay a lot of money. I’m not the type of person to just withdraw and leave the audience out there. You know, when I go to concerts and the band comes two hours late and plays for 45 minutes and then they leave, then I’m really, really mad."

The 23-year-old Bosnian-born, German-raised daughter of a tennis teacher, Petkovic brought a dose of dance fever to the Grand Slam stage in January, pounding out a 6-2, 6-3 win over Maria Sharapova to advance to her first major quarterfinal at the Australian Open. She celebrated that moment with the celebratory dance that was born off Broadway at the 2010 U.S. Open.

"It started off as a bet with my coach," said Petkovic. "He had an idea after I played a terrible summer season in the U.S. and I got Nadia Petrova in the first round of the U.S. Open, which was a tough draw for me back then. So he said, 'If you win, you have to do something special because it's a special match for us.' I won 7‑6 in the third, so I got the inspiration of doing a dance."

Returning to New York this week fresh off two semis in her last three tournaments, the 10th-seeded Petkovic hopes to make some major moves at the Open—if her knee holds up.

Moments after her photo shoot, we caught up with the engaging Petkovic to discuss her gear, game, goals, health, and the prospect of possibly celebrating her 24th birthday with a Petko party at the U.S. Open. How do you get your gear ready for a two-week Grand Slam? Are you practicing and training in the clothes and shoes you will wear at the U.S. Open next week? How do you break the shoes in for match competition?

Andrea Petkovic: Before the tournament, I have selected all of the outfits I am going to wear from the first round to the finals—even if I lose early. That’s an optimistic approach.

Andrea Petkovic: It is optimistic, but on the other hand you want to be ready for any case. I always carry more with me than I actually need. So I always have enough outfits from the first match to the final, and of course you have to account for rain as well.

With the shoes, I am actually quite good so I get used to new shoes quite fast. I would never take new shoes out of the box and go right on court. I will take new shoes [in practice] at least two days before the match. Most of the time I use them for a week before I will wear them in matches. I do a long warm-up before the practice beings, a 20-minute warm-up, and that’s when I first wear them during the warm up. So I do all the little coordination stuff, really going through the cones and getting my feet comfortable with the shoes. Actually, these new Barricades are much more flexible. I needed not even a half an hour, I needed like 10 minutes to really feel comfortable in them in practice. Do you wear orthotics with the new Barricades?

Andrea Petkovic: Yes, I do. I have orthotics and I always wear them. Actually, adidas plans that the athlete is going to wear orthotics with the shoe so they make them a little wider, and it’s not a problem when you have to fit them in because sometimes orthotics can be really thick and then you have problems.

WIN A PAIR OF ADIDAS BARRICADES AUTOGRAPHED BY ANDY MURRAY: To enter, please send your best haiku—three lines of poetry, the first five syllables, the second seven syllables, the third five syllables—that touches on both Andrea Petkovic and Andy Murray' href='' target='_top' >ANDY MURRAY to: The subject of the email must be "Haiku". We'll email the winner during the first week of the U.S. Open. We watched you play after you suffered the knee injury in your win over Petrova in Cincinnati. What’s the status of your knee and how do you feel less than a week before the start of the Open?

Andrea Petkovic: Well, I definitely have a tear in my meniscus and it’s still a little inflamed. The problem is really not actually the meniscus itself, because I have enough muscles to hold it. When I injured it, it was swollen up and all the water inside the knee is disturbing it and it’s not stable right now. So I am trying to get rid of the water on the knee right now and get rid of the swelling, and I think I’m going to be fine then. When you’re playing with an injury like that do you try to just block it out? Or are you conscious and aware of what movement might put pressure or provoke pain on your knee?

Andrea Petkovic: Well it happened during the match against Petrova and I just blocked it out. Because I felt something was just not right at that moment, but I moved totally normally around the court and I just blocked it out. But I knew something was not right and I just wanted to finish the match, and with the adrenaline pumping and the muscles all warmed up, you really actually don’t feel it that much. But then an hour or two after the match, it started swelling up and then the pain came. But I think that’s what most athletes do when they feel it unless you have a major ligament tear or something broken, then you probably cannot continue. Something like this, I think most athletes just keep playing. You had a great start to the year and strong clay-court season, reached the semis in two of your last three tournaments and cracked the Top 10 for the first time. Given that success and the current knee injury, what’s your goal for the U.S. Open and beyond?

Andrea Petkovic: My goal for the year was to be Top 20 and I’m past that now. Did you feel different in terms of your confidence on court after making the Top 10, or do you feel the same, just with a different number next to your name?

Andrea Petkovic: I didn’t feel different, though I did feel relief. It was like a weight went off my shoulders because it’s the thing everyone is looking for. And when I made it, I felt like, 'Okay, now I’m a Top 10 player and let’s just keep going.' Even if I drop out of the Top 10, I know that I have made the Top 10 and I have that achievement for life. It’s like winning a Grand Slam, it’s always going to be there. You’ve beaten several Top 10 players this year—Kvitova, Wozniacki, Sharapova—do you get up for those matches more than you do against lower-ranked players, or is it more a feeling of knowing I’ve really got to bring it today because I’m up against a top player?

Andrea Petkovic: I think the thing is that I know against these players I have to play every point 150 percent. And with my fitness, which is obviously one of my biggest advantages, I know that I’m able to do that. Sometimes, against lower-ranked players, I don’t bring that 150 percent intensity to every point, that’s right now what I’m really working on and improving on. I think I did quite a good job right here in the last three weeks during the U.S. Open Series. Against the higher-ranked players I know I have to be intense every point and I can’t afford lapses. Against lower-ranked players sometimes I lose focus for two or three games. But they are still very good players. If you let down, they see, they smell it, they take advantage of it.

Now, the next goal for me is to be able to play each and every match—it doesn’t matter against who it doesn’t matter where it is, even if I’m playing on Court 16 with two people watching—to keep the intensity. That is what Rafa Nadal is doing incredibly well. It doesn’t matter who he is playing or where he is playing or which match of the tournament he is playing: He is always at 150 percent intensity. And that’s what Nole improved this year so much, and that is really one of my top goals for the coming weeks and months: that I can bring that 150 percent intensity in every point of every match. English isn’t your first language but you speak and express yourself very well. Do you read a lot? Was education a big priority in your family as you grew up?

Andrea Petkovic: My dad forced me to read a lot. Well, 'forced' isn’t the right word, he encouraged me and I always liked to read a lot. He’s a tennis teacher. When I was 14 or 15 I started reading all the literature in its original language so basically I was reading in French, English and German. What prompted you to do that?

Andrea Petkovic: Well, I had a really good teacher and she always told us. 'Literature is never really the same if you don’t read it in the original language in which it was written.' So when I read Oscar Wilde, for instance, I read it in English. It just became some kind of natural thing and I watch all the movies in the original language or the sitcoms, you know like How I Met Your Mother, I watch those in original languages so you pick up the phrases that you don’t learn in school, so I like that. A lot of tennis fans know you for your dancing and it seems that music is an influential presence in your life. Do you use music to pump yourself up for a match, to bring yourself down after a match to relax or recharge? What does music mean in your life?

Andrea Petkovic: Well, music is one of the most important parts of my life. I play the guitar and drums, not very well (laughs), but I really enjoy myself. I have a lot of musician friends so I’m really in a circle of musicians. I just really enjoy it. Sometimes, I feel a creativity inside of me and in tennis you don’t always get to use it that much. Of course, you use some inspiration and there is a rhythm to playing tennis. It’s kind of similar in terms of getting into a zone; like when I play the drums I get into it in the same way. Doing something different than tennis is very important. I just like to discover new bands, go on the internet for hours and hours and try to find some new songs that I like. It makes me happy. The USTA did not raise Serena’s seeding as some expected. Are you surprised and what do you think of that decision?

Andrea Petkovic: I was surprised. For me, such a great player like Serena, if she would have come back and it was her first tournament I would have maybe understood. But now she showed she’s won two tournaments in a row and she beat all of the Top 10 girls in doing it. Myself, I would not have been bothered at all if they put her up there because I feel she would have deserved it based on her performance in the U.S. Open. On the other hand, for Serena herself it probably doesn’t matter when or who she is playing. Last question, your birthday is on September 9, which is during the U.S. Open. How will you celebrate here in New York assuming you’re still here in New York on your birthday?

Andrea Petkovic: Well I think it’s the day of the semis, so I really, really hope that I am gonna play and that I’m gonna give myself the best birthday present ever! (laughs) That would be absolutely awesome, but yeah it’s a long time from here to there so we’ll see what happens, hopefully it will be a good one.
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post #96 of 601 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2011, 05:13 AM
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Petkovic: How I Rode Out the Hurricane

Andrea Petkovic is the No. 10 seed at the U.S. Open, a rising star on the WTA and an excellent dancer (see for yourself on YouTube). At this year’s tournament, she’s also a Wall Street Journal guest blogger. Here is her first post, as told to Tom Perrotta:

Hello everyone, it’s good to be at the U.S. Open after two days of waiting out Hurricane Irene. I was pretty much in bed for two days straight. On Sunday I had a movie marathon. I was supposed to practice but I couldn’t, so I was just in bed saving some energy—a lot of energy. I watched all of the Pedro Almodovar movies. Well, not all of them because he has like 20. But I managed to watch three in a row.

I was prepared for the hurricane. I stocked up on muesli and dried fruit, but I ate my whole stash right away and had to go to the Chinese deli/restaurant across the street for some sushi. Luckily, the hurricane turned out to be nothing! If this was a hurricane, then I basically live in a constant tornado in Griesheim, Germany, where I live. We have this all the time. Last week’s earthquake was much worse and scarier.

I hurt my knee in Cincinnati this summer and it’s still not perfect, but almost. I have a slight tear in the inner meniscus of my right knee. But my doctor and physio, who are here with me, say I cannot make it worse so I’m going to play. (My first match is Tuesday on Court 13.) My knee is painful, but once you have the adrenaline going and you start moving, it’s fine. I don’t think any tennis player wakes up in the morning without having pain somewhere. It’s a normal feeling. In this case, it’s on this border between just pain and serious injury.

I practiced twice a day last week and it felt OK. I was lucky to get so much practice time, because it’s not easy to get courts here in the early rounds, when everyone is in the tournament and there are still qualifiers trying to make it. My coach, Petar Popovic, is very determined—and he can be very, very, well, annoying also! He stands there for two hours and just annoys the people until they’re like, ‘OK, just give him the court so he’ll leave me alone!”

It’s great to be here in New York, I love the energy here and the vibe. But I don’t see much of the city during the tournament. If I get a chance, I like to go away from the big tourist attractions and just explore on my own. Maybe after the tournament I will take a day or two to see more of it. Right now, it’s time to play.
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post #97 of 601 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2011, 09:48 PM
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Wilson's Record-Setting Bounce

A Day For The Record Books

Sabine Lisicki Andrea Petkovic Julia Görges
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post #98 of 601 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 2011, 03:41 PM
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August 30th

US Open 2011 Interview – First Round

After beating Ekaterina Bychkova 62 62

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

When are you gonna run for prime minister?
That takes a while, like another 10 years.

What are your feelings about New York?
I love New York and the I love the energy and the life going on in the city. I’d really like to take a stroll through the city and just feel the life and the energy. I really enjoy myself here.

How would you describe the energy?
It’s just something like something vibrant. I love the culture. There is something artistic in the air, free spirits, a lot of creative minds out there. Yeah, it’s very vibrant and creative.

Most players just stay by the hotel, but do you go down to the Village or explore?
Well, I just like to take a stroll through the city, but just away from the tourist attractions and by inspiration go and see and discover what happens. But of course not for five hours because I have to play matches, obviously. But, yeah, that’s what I try to do sometimes when I get some time.

What will a successful Open be for you today? This year?
Well, you know, I have been struggling a little bit with my physical state right now, so it’s already a big success for me being in the second round. I didn’t expect to play at all, so for me, being able to play is a big success. So I don’t really focus on results this much at that point of my state that I am in.

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Petkovic: Catching Kardashian Fever

Andrea Petkovic, the No. 10 seed at the U.S. Open, cruised through her first-round match Tuesday, eliminating Ekaterina Bychkova in straight sets. When Petkovic isn’t on court, she’s moonlighting as a guest blogger for the Wall Street Journal. Here’s her second post, as told to Scott Cacciola.

Well, the Kardashians are at my hotel on Park Avenue. Yesterday, when I was heading out for dinner, there were 20 bodyguards and a huge camera team in the hotel lobby. I didn’t see the actual sisters, unfortunately. But my father told me all about it. And my father—he doesn’t know anything about pop culture or celebrities. So he was like, ‘You know, there are some famous sisters here!’ I was trying to figure out who it could be, and then somebody in the hotel told me it was the Kardashians. I think all of them are here. I still haven’t seen them, but maybe today. I heard they were going to stay for a month.

I just love being in New York. I love to go for walks, stroll around in the city, feel the energy and the vibe. I think there’s just something special in the air here, and I try to enjoy that. I also make sure to avoid the tourist attractions. A couple of days ago, I walked near the hotel and found a couple of nice little cafes. One of the nice things is that I almost never get recognized. Around the tennis court I obviously do because people here are interested in tennis. But on the streets, not so much. I look a lot different in normal clothes.

As far as my knee goes, it’s getting better every day. I have my trainer and my doctor working on it. While I’m not 100% yet, I’m trying to improve every day. I definitely want to get the best out of myself here.

I don’t have a whole lot of free time today, but I think I’m going to go for a nice dinner. My parents are here, and we’re going to a French place that does steaks. Mostly it’s because I’m just really lazy and the restaurant is across the street from the hotel. I also have to have a massage. Well, I don’t need it. But I’m getting one, and I’m really looking forward to it.

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September 1st

US Open 2011 Interview – Second Round

After beating Jie Zheng 36 63 63

Did you have any specific strategies coming into this match, like play against Zheng?
I prepared myself definitely. I never played her. It’s always different I watch a lot of videos. I watched her play live in Cincinnati, but it’s always different when you feel the ball of the opponent than watching it on TV. I think she plays well. I think she’s very solid. I think for me she’s definitely a top 20 player if she recovers from her injuries. She had bad injuries. So I think it was a tough match, and she plays well. I just tried to mix it up, you know, stay tough, and tried to be dominant in the game. In the beginning I had a very slow start, but afterwards I think I was playing better.

You seemed especially happy in your post match dance. Do you think it was because you had to face such an uphill battle after losing the first set?
Yeah, definitely. It was the comeback, it was the energy of the audience. I think they really brought me back into the match. And also with the background I’m coming in, every match is very special for me right now. I didn’t know if I was gonna play at all, so every match that I win is just a huge, yeah, huge victory for me. So turning this around was very special for me.

You’re obviously wearing a lot less tape this week than you were back in Cincinnati. How’s the knee feeling?
Well, the problem with my knee is, you know, it’s feeling much better, but the problem is I don’t have constant pain. I just have a sharp pain every like four or five games. That’s even worse, because after that I have like two or three games where I get off my game because I’m not moving well because I’m scared to go into the corners. It’s not that bad, actually. The pain comes, you know, and the time until the pain comes gets wider and wider, which is a good sign. But still when it comes I’m scared and I start not running. You know, I am hesitating to run, and then I lose a few games very fast because I’m not moving well. It’s just a mindset, I think. I’m trying to work on it, but it’s not easy because obviously it’s the injured knee, and so I’m always more scared than normal.

Do any other athletes out there in other sports remind you of yourself?
In any kind of sports or in tennis?

Any sport.
Do you have anyone in mind? (Smiling). I don’t know. I’m just me.

Your personality, the way you show color on the court.

The personality and the way you show color on the court.
Uh huh. I don’t know. I really don’t know. I don’t have any tattoos and piercings so I wouldn’t say Dennis Rodman. No, I don’t know. I’m just trying to be myself.

How about Marat Safin?
Marat Safin (Laughter.) Oh, God, am I that bad?

Well, you say you just want to be me. What does that mean to you?
Well, I just try, you know, to I’m obviously very emotional, and I just try to live my emotions even if it’s negative. Sometimes it’s positive. I am I’m very free minded when it comes to this. If I feel like dancing, I dance; if I don’t feel like it, I don’t. I don’t care what other people say about me, so I guess that’s being me.

Novak did his absolutely fabulous imitations that people just loved, but then got a lot of…

Were you kind of sad that he stopped doing those?
I was. Yeah, I was. Because, you know, I mean, at one point I don’t think there is anybody in the world who doesn’t really care at all what other people say or think. That’s just impossible. But at one point, you know, I think you start to care too much or also a lot of people are telling you what to do and what not to do. So it’s not always easy, but obviously he made the right choices. He’s No. 1 in the world, so I guess it’s good what he’s doing.

Who are your favorite male players to watch?

I think he’s spectacular just the way he plays. He’s just playing so risky and smashing the ball with the forehand and coming in, and I think it’s always when he’s on fire, it’s just amazing to watch. And Rafa Nadal because of the intensity he has on court every, each single point.

How about Monfils?
Oh, I like Monfils, as well. Did you see his Dougie in Montreal? Oh, I loved it. Yeah, Monfils also, although he’s a little defensive at times. But the way he gets the balls it’s absolutely incredible. Yeah, those three definitely when they are on TV I stop zapping and watch.

You’re one of five German players in the second round alone. Can you talk about what it means to German tennis to have so many players in the tournament?
It means a lot, but I think not only this tournament but the whole year has been an incredible year for German tennis, especially on the women’s side. I think it’s just a matter of great companionship and healthy competition, because when I you know, when I play well I practice with all these girls, and when I play well, when I beat the top players, they’re like, Yeah, in practice I beat her. I can do that. Or the same with Julia or Sabine. We know we can beat each other, and when they beat top players I’m like, Okay, why can’t I do it? It’s just a healthy competition that around and we get along great and give also positive energy. It can sometimes also turn into negative energy, but we are very lucky that we manage to stay positive. We are just pulling each other up, and I think the more German girls the better we play just the few of us the more German girls are gonna play even better. We’re gonna conquer the world soon (Laughter.)

Obviously there has been a gap since Steffi Graf. Nowadays can you use her for anything, like just talk to her and see what’s…
Oh, yeah. That’s the only thing I think we can do. It would be nonsense to start comparing us to her, any of us, I mean. We are all our own personality. We all try. You know, we all try to do our best. But the best thing we can do according to Steffi is taking her positive things out, her attitude, her working spirit, her, you know, everything that she did well. She was always my idol, so for me it’s easy. But I think also the other girls admire her a lot. That’s the best thing we can do. Instead of comparing us, just look up to her and getting the best out of her.

Some people say the Germans are coming now; there is a big, nice group. There is always this hunger in America; when is the next big American coming? Do you understand that? Does it mystify you? Do you like it? Or is it overkill?
You know, I think that we had the same right before we started playing well this year, we had the same always: When is somebody gonna play well finally? When is somebody gonna get through in the Grand Slams? When? When? When? So it’s this sort of waiting, and then once somebody’s there it’s not like, Oh, finally it’s there, but it’s then like, Okay, let’s go and put some pressure on them. It’s just the typical thing. It’s just a normal development of the press, and I think it’s funny, actually. I like it. It’s fun.

What does it say that on the one hand the best player in German history, really of all time perhaps arguably, Steffi, was so focused. She had that laser focus, all business, and yet others say, Serena, certainly yourself what does that say about the nature of the game and how it can be approached differently?
Well, I think, you know, if you would see me work on the court and if you would see me practice you would know that I’m more than 100% focused and working more than anybody on the tour, and I think Serena also does that. It’s just a matter of, you know, expressing yourself offcourt also if you need that. If you don’t need it, don’t do it. But I think the more you develop your personality and character off the court, the more it helps you also on the court. I really think so. I think definitely Serena is one of those players, also Maria and Venus. You know, they are those players who need that, who cannot be one dimensional, but who need all these other things to feel well on court. As long as they are focused me too as long as you’re focused in the work on the court and in what you have to do to be 100% on the court, then I’m doing that.

Do you ever feel that the officiating is keeping down the personality, your personality or Tsonga’s, these other players that you like? Do you feel that at all these days?
It can be like this sometimes, yes. But, I mean, in the end it’s up to yourself. You have to decide if you, you know, if you start like forming yourself to what the audience expects from you to not get any bad critics. It’s just up to yourself. Or you don’t care and you just try to pull it through. It’s not easy, but I mean, nothing is easy in life. (Smiling.)

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post #101 of 601 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 2011, 05:36 AM
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Petkovic: Two Wins, Karaoke Cure the Pain

Andrea Petkovic, the No. 10 seed at the U.S. Open, played through pain in singles and doubles matches Thursday. In her latest post as a guest blogger for the Wall Street Journal, she discusses handling discomfort and the different ways to play hurt, as told to Scott Cacciola.

So I have my coaching team with me here in New York: my coach, Petar Popovic; my hitting partner, Dusan Vemic; and my doctor and physio, Duda Stevanovic. They’re supporting me – and supporting my decision to play through my knee injury. We did establish a ground rule that if it swells up during a match, I’m going to stop immediately. But it’s my decision.

My parents, on the other hand, are acting like parents. They don’t want me to play. They think I should take a break and recover. But I’m here at a Grand Slam, and I really want to play. So I’ve got two fights on my hands right now: I’m fighting my body because I’m not 100% healthy. But I’m also fighting with half my team – my parents.

It led to an interesting experience during my singles match against Jie Zheng. I felt a sharp pain during one particular game, which caused me to have some trouble running the next two games. And I could hear my parents screaming from the stands: “Stop! Quit!” Yes, I could actually hear them. But there’s no swelling, and I’m not suffering from constant paint. It’s only when I do certain movements, and I want to be cautious. Then again, so do my parents.

Overall, it was a productive day, and I followed up my singles match by pairing up with Julia Goerges for a win in doubles. She did 80% of the running, which was great. And now I have some time off before I play again this weekend.

I’m not sure if I’m going to make it, but I was planning to spend time with a friend of mine in Manhattan tonight. She knows a place where there’s a live band that knows how to play every song in the world and you can sing with them. How great is that? You can go there and say, “Ok, I want to sing ‘Superstitious,’ by Stevie Wonder,” and they’ll play it for you. You have to know the words, of course. I must admit, I’m tired after doing so much running today, but I think I’m going to do it because it’s important to get your mind off things.

Maybe I’m trying to cram too much stuff into my schedule – I might be awake until 4 a.m. – but I’d rather do everything today and have tomorrow totally off to relax and enjoy.

Sabine Lisicki Andrea Petkovic Julia Görges
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post #102 of 601 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 2011, 09:27 PM
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September 3rd

US Open 2011 Interview – Third Round

After beating Roberta Vinci 64 60

You said it was excruciatingly hot but you appeared to handle it quite well.
Yeah, I think it wasn't really hot. Actually today in the warmup, I was already I was really tired after 20 minutes, and I told my coaches, What is happening here? They said, It's really hot. I think I am one of the fittest players on tour. I work really hard and I practice a lot. If I know that I'm tired, I know that the other one is probably almost dying. So that's okay.

Was your fitness the biggest factor in today's match?
Oh, I think there were a lot of factors today. I started off a little nervously because I didn't know her I knew how she was playing but I didn't play her before. I knew she plays differently. She plays more like a man, a lot of slice, trying to get into the net. So I was a little nervous, but once I found my rhythm, I think I played a solid match. I tried to put more topspin on the balls because she plays a lot of slice, and I think it's tougher to play slice when somebody gives topspin on the ball. So that's what I tried to do. I think it went fine.

Other than topspin, did you have more of a game plan? Seemed like you were attacking her second serve fairly well and trying to cut off those angles.
Actually, I had two things I was really focused on: attacking the serves and putting more spin on the ball just to, you know, have more margin over the net be-cause she plays the slice so deep and so flat. I tried to open up the angles, because then it's tougher with the one handed slice to control it. So that's what I tried to do basically. In the beginning I was missing a little bit more, and once I found my rhythm I think everything came together pretty well. So I was satisfied with the way I played.

You made a name of yourself pretty much I mean, you had a name before, but last year at the US Open, between then and now what's changed?
Well, I really think the main factor is the experience that I gained, because last year I was a good player already, but, you know, I used to crumble under pres-sure. I used to play well until a certain point, and then just well, didn't take my chances at all. Now this year with all the experience of the tough matches and all these close key moments that I went through I'm just calmer. I know what to do in the important moments. Not always. Still happens to me, but I think that happens to everybody. I just have more margin in my game. I play a little bit more spin and I play a little bit safer so then when you get nervous it doesn't affect your game that much. I think that's been a big difference. I just feel very confident in myself now.

Now that you're getting deeper in the slams more regularly, is it still as much fun for you, or do you go in with more expectations?
Well, it's a balance between both things, because Grand Slams are very stressful. I think any player that you ask, and if he answers honestly, it's a lot of stress. After Grand Slams I think I sleep for three or four days straight because it's just a lot of stress. But on the other hand I don't enjoy any match on the tour as much as I do the Grand Slam, even if they are tough. Even the match against Zheng, I enjoyed it so much because the crowd gets really into it. I think there is just more emotion in the Grand Slams, because obviously for each and every player the matches are somehow more important. Especially in New York I think the crowd really gets into the matches and there is just so much action going on. So I managed to balance it until now, but definitely the further I get in the Grand Slams, the more stressed, the more expectations, the more pressure. But I seem to be handling it quite well so far. Wimbledon I didn't handle it well at all, for example. It's always, you know, type of getting used to it, adapting, and I think I'm adapting to it. I don't feel it that much anymore.

Do you think you're ready to become a Grand Slam champion and lift that trophy?
Oh, I think that's still far away. I think we can start talking about that once I reach semis and finals. Because I reach two quarters, I reached fourth round, and I think that's been pretty good. But I think to win a Grand Slam is a different story. I think I will start talking about winning Grand Slams once I reach semi and finals.

To see Petra win Wimbledon, did that help you in any way to see a younger player sort of finally win a slam?
Well, yeah. I think, you know, the thing is with these players, it's just with Petra and also with Victoria Azarenka, for example, the way they play I always feel like, okay, they can beat everybody. But everything coming together for two weeks and seven matches straight is a different story, and Petra showed that it's possible. I think it gave, strangely, more confidence to all the other young players, because I think the last Grand Slams before Wimbledon showed more that the experience used to win, you know, with Schiavone winning, Na Li winning, Kim Clijsters winning. So the other players had more advantage. But now with Petra, you know, an up and coming player and playing the final the way she played just so tough and just without any nervousness, it seemed, I think it gave a lot of confidence to all of us up and coming players that it's possible. If you do it, it's a different story, on the other hand. But still, I was really impressed with how Petra handled everything.

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post #103 of 601 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 2011, 07:15 PM
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Petkovic: Therapy for the Knees and Eyes

Andrea Petkovic, the No. 10 seed at the U.S. Open, advanced to the fourth round Saturday. In her latest post as a guest blogger for The Wall Street Journal, she talks about laser treatment on her knee and her mini crush on James Blake, as told to Tom Perrotta.

I won again today and my knee is holding up fine. I’m doing everything I can to take care of it—now I’m working with an Italian doctor who treats a lot of the players. His name is Pier Francesco Parra and he has this laser that he puts on your knee three times for about two minutes, in the morning and at night. I’m going again later, after my doubles match.

The treatment made me a little nervous, but my coach talked to all the players and we had maybe 25 opinions before we decided to try it. Everybody said at worst it wouldn’t work, but it wouldn’t make matters worse. Personally, I think my knee is feeling better, but I don’t know if it’s just in my head. And it doesn’t matter! As long as it feels better that’s what counts.

I ended up going to the club I mentioned in my last blog. It’s called Sugar Bar, on the Upper West Side. The guy who started it, Nick Ashford, died recently. He and his wife wrote all these great Motown songs, like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and a lot of incredible musicians play at the club. I went on Thursday to the open mic session, but I didn’t sing. Never! I was blown away, the people who sing at this place are absolutely amazing. The band can play any song and they usual play jazzy, funky songs like Stevie Wonder or the Temptations. I got there around 9:30 and stayed until midnight. I wanted to stay so much longer, but I have to be reasonable.

People wonder sometimes how often tennis players watch tennis during a tournament. I don’t watch much, but the two times I turned on the television so far, James Blake was on. And right away he hits just incredible shots—unbelievable. And because he’s cute, it’s easier to remember! I know him, we talk a little bit, “Hi, how are you, good, thanks,” and then I get all nervous.

Things are going well for me here at the Open, and I’m feeling confident. Today I had a tricky opponent, Roberta Vinci. She plays different from all the other girls, with a lot of slice. So I hit a lot more topspin than usual and tried to play a less risky game. It worked out well and I won 6-4, 6-0.

It’s good that this match wasn’t as dramatic as my last one, because my parents needed a break. They’re doing better, especially now that I’m having the laser therapy. I just keep telling them everything is fine, it’s getting much better, don’t worry about it. I just hope they don’t read The Wall Street Journal.

Sabine Lisicki Andrea Petkovic Julia Görges
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Has Petko ever been to Petco? Five minutes with Andrea Petkovic
By Nick McCarvel
Sunday, September 4, 2011

Andrea Petkovic loves to dance. The 23-year-old German has become a mainstay for diehard tennis fans in the must-watch YouTube video queue. She originated her "Petko Dance" jig here last year when she scored a major first-round win over Bethanie Mattek-Sands, and the movement has evolved over the course of the last year. It - the dance, that is - currently takes on the form of the worm, except she only uses her upper body. In her third-round win over Roberta Vinci on Saturday, she did the move for all four sides of the crowd on Grandstand, much like Andre Agassi bid adieu with his four bows. As "Petko," as she's admiringly known, tries to advance to her first-ever Open quarterfinal, sat down to find out a few more quirks about Germany's top-ranked player.

*** Tell me about where you're staying in NYC. For some reason I feel like it might be something different than everyone else.

Andrea Petkovic: I'm in the Hotel Gansevoort and I think that the Kardashians checked in like five days ago. Really? No way.

Petkovic: Yeah. And today I'm pretty sure I saw Lady Gaga. I'm not positive. But I'm pretty sure it was her. Every time I go out of the hotel there are tons of paparazzi and fans waiting outside. They even had to put up barriers. When I leave the hotel they are looking at me like 'Yeah... no. Nobody knows her.' But is that better than getting bombarded with fans?

Petkovic: I think it's a good feeling ... a little better [than being chased down]. When I'm dressed in my tennis clothes take pictures because I think they figure, 'OK, she's from the US Open.' Is it just you staying there? Any other players?

Petkovic: I think it's only me and Robin Soderling. But he got sick. And [Ivo] Karlovic is there, too. Speaking of the Kardashians, what do you think of Americans and our obsession with reality TV? Is it pretty ridiculous to you?

Petkovic: We have it in Germany, too. It's not just an American thing. It's everywhere. It's spreading in every culture right now, I don't know why. But we have it in Germany, also. I just try to stay away from it. I tweeted it like four weeks ago: "Jersey Shore is like freaking eating chips. You know it's not good for you but you can't stop. You know you're getting sick, but it doesn't matter." If I put on TV, I try to watch HBO or some movie or the tennis on ESPN. Otherwise, I try to watch movies that I like. But what if you could have your own reality show, Andrea. Like be "Petko the Producer?"

Petkovic: Oh god! [Laughing.] If I could produce my own reality show I would try to go and show the real culture of the cities that I go to, the sub-cultures. Little bars and that kind of stuff. But, it would never be really popular. But I think that would make it a better reality show than what's on TV now. It's not reality anymore. Why do they call it reality if it's not reality anymore? OK, so say you can spend a romantic day, but you only can be on the grounds of the National Tennis Center. What's your plan?

Petkovic: Here? Oh no! [Laughing.] Um... I would probably take a bottle of wine and go up to the highest seat of Ashe. I would probably take up some French, heavy wine. So your head gets all, you know... foggy. I think wine without food is good to get wasted. How romantic of me, huh? Very romantic. But I think that's what I would want to do. Your birthday is next week [September 9]. Have you ever been in NYC to celebrate? If not, what do you think you'd want to do in the city to ring in 24?

Petkovic: I've never been in the city to celebrate my birthday. I hope ... I hope this year [smiling]. On Thursday, after my second-round match, I went to the Sugar Bar where every Thursday they have an open-mic session. They have an incredible band and you can sign up in the front and the singers are incredible. I thought, 'You know, normally open-mic sessions in Germany 80 percent of people suck and 20 percent are really good.' But they were all absolutely amazing. They were singing Stevie Wonder and the Temptations and all this kind of old stuff. I think something like that [for my birthday] would be really nice. I just hope I'm still here. That would be so cool. You've certainly proven yourself as a great dancer. Do you have any yearning to go to Broadway and see some professional dancing there?

Petkovic: I would really like to go to a really, really good show. Not just go there because I want to go, you know? I need to read up. Do you have any suggestions? Yeah, you've gotta see Book of Mormon.

Petkovic: Book of Mormon? OK. I will keep that in mind. So you just secured at least $1 million in earnings for the year with your success here.

Petkovic: I did?! I didn't know that. [Cheering.] What are you planning on buying me?

Petkovic: You? What do you want? What do you like? I will Google you and find out what you like. Yes, please do. No, I'm more curious what you would buy yourself. You just topped $1 million!

Petkovic: For me? Is there anything that I need? No, I think I'm fine. I just bought myself an iPad and I think that was a pretty good decision. I have all the books and all the movies that I like to watch and I have it right there. I don't have to watch the crap on TV. Being from Germany, are you more of a Tommy Haas gal or Nicolas Kiefer?

Petkovic: Oooh. I would say... looks-wise? Or personality-wise? Looks-wise I would go with Kiefer, but personality-wise I would go for Haas. That's pretty diplomatic, right? You probably hate me for asking, right?

Petkovic: I like [Haas]. I don't talk to him a lot but everytime we do talk he's really nice and I just get a great energy from him -- I go by energy -- and I get a good energy from him. Since you're known as Petko, I'm curious if you've ever to a Petco in the States? Do you know what they are?

Petkovic: No, I haven't been! I know, it's what, for pets, right? In Indian Wells I stayed at a hotel where everytime I looked out my window there was a Petco. I haven't been there yet, though. I think that should be your reality show, Petko at Petco.

Petkovic: It would be really funny. Not a lot of people know that you were born in the former Yugoslavia and have ties to Novi Sad, the same town where Monica Seles grew up. Do you have a connection with her?

Petkovic: I don't, I don't. She's always been one of my idols. My coach always tells me before a match, 'Cool head. Warm heart.' And that's what her dad always used to tel lher when she was playing. That's the only connection I have, but I would really love to meet her one day.
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post #105 of 601 (permalink) Old Sep 6th, 2011, 08:07 PM
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Re: Petko Articles & Interviews

September 5th

US Open 2011 Interview – Fourth Round

After beating Carla Suarez Navarro 61 64

Players don't like to say who they wish to meet in the next round, but you're not like most players. Maybe you could tell us.
Actually, I don't prefer anybody. I like to play both because I always feel like we have good matches. I played Caroline twice and I played Svetlana three or four times already. And it was always good matches because, you know, you have to build up the point against them. You have to really play smart, and you have to work hard for your point with both of the players. I really enjoy those matches more than playing hard hitters that you have to survive somehow. So both is fine for me.

Who do you expect to play?
Well, I haven't seen any of Svetlana's matches at all. I saw one of Caroline's matches. She played really well. I think if she plays like this, she has better chances. I haven't seen Svetlana at all. If she plays well, she can beat everybody. I think it's 50/50.

You had a tough match with Caroline in Miami. You won it. How do you remember that match?
Well, I played really solid. I played well. I played very smart. I kept my game plan throughout the whole match. I lost then afterwards against her in Stuttgart. She played an incredible match there. She played really, really well. She's a really tough opponent. As I said, you have to work for every point and you have to play at your limit to beat her. So that's what I'm gonna try to do. But either of those players, I think it's going to be really tough.

You're the only player this year that has reached three quarterfinals at Grand Slams.
Oh yeah? (Smiling.)

Can you talk about what you've added to your game this year since you've been making such good results at Grand Slams.
First of all, I think after last year's breakthrough here when I reached fourth round, my confidence changed completely. I just started believing in myself I could reach the second weeks of Grand Slams. Before, I was just playing and seeing what happens. And now after that I really started believing in myself and I started focusing also and putting my plan as if I'm going to play for two weeks. That has changed. And definitely the experience of last year. I lost a lot of tough matches that I shouldn't have lost. I lost a lot of close matches. I crumbled under pressure. I crumbled on key moments. And this didn't happen to me that much anymore this year. It still happens. I think that's normal. I think everybody gets nervous. But I seem to handle everything better. Well, it's tough to say because it can change every day (snapping fingers). I seem to have found better ways to handle the expectations that have now risen since the last year.

How has the planning changed?
Well, for example, I plan my practice schedules and my tournament schedules to peak at the Grand Slams, to be able to perform two weeks. If I lose first round, okay, bad luck. But I plan as if I'm going to be here two weeks. Where I used to play tournaments right before the Grand Slam, I used to play too much because I didn't expect myself being here for two weeks. Now I plan as if I'm going to be here for two weeks. If it doesn't happen, bad luck for me.

Returning to the Miami match with Wozniacki, what was the key for you that night?
Well, I think, you know, I played really solid and I played with high intensity every point. I think Caroline was also a little tired in that match because she had just won Indian Wells. She had a lot of tough matches before. So I just took the advantage that I had, and it was really hot that day, I remember. So I just took my little advantages and chances that I had. And I think the key thing was that I played every point with full intensity. I didn't give any presents, not easy presents. That's most important against Caroline because she just takes -- if you have just a little, little letdown, it can cost you the match immediately against Caroline, and that's what makes her so strong. I think that's what I have to try to avoid this time, as well, if I play her.

Sabine Lisicki Andrea Petkovic Julia Görges
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