|Feb 10th, 2016 08:55 AM
Re: Nadia Petrova Interviews & Articles
I still consider myself an optimist just like the subtitle continued optimism for a comeback.
I believe she can have a nice career in doubles at least. It saddens me as a big fan, but makes me happy as a human being that she has something to develop and devote her time to - her foundation. IMO that's how (former) tennis players should use their fame and riches.
|Feb 10th, 2016 08:33 AM
Re: Nadia Petrova Interviews & Articles
good article but looks like saying good bye
|Feb 9th, 2016 06:08 PM
Re: Nadia Petrova Interviews & Articles
News | WTA Tennis English
So many pics from the different eras of Nadia.
Catching Up With Nadia Petrova
WTA Insider David Kane | The former World No.3 and 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist spoke on her career and continued optimism for a comeback, despite injury and an uncertain future.
Published February 09, 2016 12:14
The St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy debuts on the WTA calendar following an Australian Open that featured impressive performances from a trio of talented young Russians. Among them, Margarita Gasparyan reached her first major second week, while former French Open junior champion Daria Kasatkina made a second straight Grand Slam third round. Each fell to World No.1 Serena Williams; each will be on hand to play her home tournament.
On the outside looking in is another Russian Roland Garros junior champ - off the court for the last two years with a torn labral, but one who knows a thing or two about playing the 21-time Grand Slam champion on Rod Laver Arena.
Former World No.3 Nadia Petrova played a pair of must-watch Melbourne matches against the American in the mid-00s - the last coming in 2007, when Williams was ranked No.81.
"I remember that match," Petrova told WTA Insider last fall. "I was two points away from winning, serving for it. But in this critical situation, she came up with some amazing shots and I was pushed back to the wall. I tried everything and she would come up with something even better."
The Muscovite later got her revenge in Beijing and Madrid, becoming one of the few players to earn back-to-back wins over the World No.1.
"I always enjoyed our matches; every time I stepped on the court against her, I was never intimidated. I knew what I had to do in order to win, or at least play a good match."
A prominent part of Russia's golden generation - one that includes Grand Slam champions Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Anastasia Myskina, Olympic Gold medalist Elena Dementieva, and World No.1 Dinara Safina - Petrova has been trying to heal an injury she first picked up during the 2013 French Open - ten years after she became the first Russian woman since Olga Morozova in 1975 to reach the semifinals on the terre battue.
"It was very cold that year," she said of her first round loss to Monica Puig. "I thought my muscles were just overworked. The doctors and physios said that I needed a good break and I would be fine for the grass court season.
"I followed that advice, but when I returned to court, it got worse, to the point that I struggled through my first round at Wimbledon. It was a little bit easier in doubles, but I had to do more medical research and see some other specialists."
Despite managing to qualify for a sixth overall WTA Finals appearance with Katarina Srebotnik, the 37-time WTA titlist (13 singles, 24 doubles) soon made the decision to stop playing altogether in the hopes of fully healing her hip before launching a return.
"I'd rather be playing tournaments, going from one place to another. I miss all the emotions, the excitement of a win or a loss. That part of me is missing right now, but unfortunately my hip has been still giving me a hard time."
No stranger to long lay-offs, a then-19-year-old Petrova was poised for a breakout 2002 season when a stress fracture stunted her progress for six months.
"That was a reality check, and a big test for me," she said of her first major injury. "I'd had a great off-season, and I started really well in my first event, almost beating Venus Williams. I was a Top 30 player for the first time, but right before the Australian Open, I had to pull out because of my foot.
"It was hard seeing the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon just go by. All that was left was to just see it on TV. My ranking dropped out of Top 100, and it was the first time that I had to start from the scratch. But I managed, and I'm sure that made me a stronger and better player."
Rehabbing a labral tear presently remains the biggest test for the now-33-year-old Russian, who refuses to make any immediate decisions about her future.
"I'll feel like I'm making improvements, but as soon as I start loading my body with practicing and playing, it starts showing signs of breaking down again. I think it's from the years that I've been on tour, the wear and tear."
For a woman on the move for most of her life, 24 months at a standstill has been a "mixture of emotions" for the two-time Grand Slam semifinalist, who has spent the time finishing the renovations on her Miami home, giving back through her eponymous foundation, and otherwise enjoying a normal life with her dog.
"It does feel good to be in one place. It's nice to wake up in your own bed every morning, but after doing it for so many years, you get used to the traveling. Sometimes I do miss getting on a plane and going somewhere, the change of surroundings. I'm getting a bit tired of being in one place."
The daughter of elite athletes - her mother was an Olympic bronze medalist in the 4x400 meter relay - Petrova began playing tennis at eight years old; she left Moscow at 12 as her parents pursued coaching opportunities in Egypt and Poland.
As a teenager, she relocated to the Netherlands to work with coach Glen Schaap (who later worked with Safina and junior rival Jelena Dokic), but admitted it was hard to ever feel at home in any one place.
"I really didn't get attached to people. Of course, you make friends, but it's not like ones you grow up and go to school with, and you create a strong bond. It's hard to leave those kinds of people behind, but I didn't really have that.
"I do have a lot of friends in all these places that I still keep in touch with, and I did enjoy traveling. I was a teenager that really liked exploring new places, getting to know new cultures, cuisines. For me, it was fascinating."
Some of her strongest bonds were forged during her brief tenure on the junior circuit, where she upset Dokic for the 1998 junior title in Paris.
"We were competing against each other but we still were into socializing and hanging out. We would always do something fun after the tennis was over. It was a lot of good quality time.
"Transitioning from juniors to pros, we kept close, tried to support each other, show up at each other's matches. But it was an emotional rollercoaster because there's a big gap in level. Everyone is older, more experienced, and a lot stronger.
"It was a difficult moment and, of course, when you are a brand new player on the tour, it's not like everyone is warm and welcoming. You have to earn your spot among the players, and prove yourself with good wins."
Former No.1 Tracy Austin once remarked, "Every time Petrova gets up a head of steam, she gets injured." Indeed, physical issues of varying severity likely kept the Russian, with her big serve and booming all-court game, from realizing her potential in an era that boasted both Williams sisters, Belgians Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, Americans Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati, Swiss Miss Martina Hingis, French star Amélie Mauresmo - and, of course, all of her countrywomen.
"It's just genetically how my body is built and how it handles all the sudden movements in a match. A lot of leg injuries and muscle strains I had came from my lower back and my pelvis being out of alignment. It took me a while to understand that, to start taking proper care of my body.
"I'm also not that kind of a player where, if I'm out for two-three months, I can pick up where I left off. It would take me a while to get back into everything - the tournaments and months of practice - to that same level where I could feel and see the game, to feel confident on the court again."
When it came together, she was almost unstoppable. She won her own Olympic Bronze medal in women's doubles with Maria Kirilenko and titles on all surfaces in her 15 years on tour. She defeated 16 of her generation's 18 Grand Slam champions, and 13 of the 14 women who had been or went on to be World No.1.
She is one of only ten women to beat both Williams sisters - winners of a combined 45 Grand Slam titles - in singles and doubles, and handed former No.1 Kim Clijsters the most lop-sided loss of her career, a 6-0, 6-1 clinic at the 2010 Australian Open that Petrova calls her "perfect match."
Her first breakthrough came in 2003; ranked No.76, she roared into the final four of the French Open, repeating the run two years later.
"After the foot injury in 2002, I had no expectations. I knew my draw was difficult, but I had an amazing first round over Monica Seles and followed it up with the win over Capriati.
"I remember even having set point against Clijsters in the semifinals but I was having a bit of pain in my leg. After losing that set point, I was really not able to regain that level.
"But that really was a big turning point for me in my career."
A player for whom potential often outpaced progress, Petrova was the best player not to have won a WTA title for two years, falling in her first four finals before coming full circle in at the Generali Ladies Linz.
"A few times, I felt like I had bad luck because I was so close. Other times, I'd get into my head when I was close to winning, and I couldn't finish it off because of the nerves. I was over-thinking it too much.
"I have such good memories of Linz because it was a lot of firsts for me. It was my first doubles title, and my first singles title, as well. It was almost like a home tournament, and everything was organized very well. I liked the city, and the extra things that they would do for the players. They went out of the way to make it a nice tournament. After the first win there, everything got a lot easier."
For a while, it was effortless. She paired up with longtime friend Tomasz Iwanski in early 2006 and won her next four finals, heading into the French Open as the best player without a major title, at a career-high ranking with a 15-match winning streak on clay.
"I was feeling very confident; it was the first time I saw winning a Grand Slam as a possibility. I started to believe, but unfortunately, it was very sad, some silly injury. I felt my dreams were shattered, or at least that kind of belief and confidence."
Straining her upper leg in practice, she fought through a losing first round battle against Akiko Morigami, a missed opportunity from which Petrova believes she never recovered.
"I did regain a certain level of play, but I don't think I ever came close to that mental state in my career where I felt like I was able to make that extra step.
"For me, it was about the results, winning a lot of matches and just keeping the momentum."
Petrova separated from Iwanski soon after, leading to a string of coaching arrangements - including one with Vlado Platenik, who currently coaches Kastkina - that yielded its share of highs and lows.
"Honestly, I wish I had one coach from the beginning to the end of my career, having established a strong relationship. I know I'm not also an easy person on the court; I'm a perfectionist, and I have my demands.
"But I also feel like many coaches stop giving 100% after a while. I'm a person who wants 100% from a coach every day, at every tournament.
"It's the same amount I'm asking from myself when I'm on the court."
Taking that 100% and putting it toward a more philanthropic bend has been the most rewarding part of her time away from tour. The Nadia Petrova Foundation works with underprivileged children by raising funds and organizing clinics that teach them a game that already gave the Russian so much.
"It gave me such a great opportunity to travel the world, to experience different cultures and cuisines, to get to know a lot of wonderful people. Hopefully, when I was playing my best, I was able to inspire some kids with my game. I was able to give back to the community through all the charity work that I did on my own and together with the WTA."
A natural athlete and experienced competitor, the two-time Olympian can't help but sometimes wonder, "what if?" But whether or not she returns to tennis, Nadia Petrova ultimately appears at peace.
"I do think, maybe I was starting now, things would have been different for me; getting to a Grand Slam win or get to the top of the rankings, I believe, was a lot harder then. Every week there was Serena, Venus, and Davenport and Capriati, Justine, Kim, and Mauresmo. It was a tough competition.
"The generation when I played, the Top 10 was just packed with huge names. Many ended up winning Slams and carried on such great careers that the majority of them will be in the Tennis Hall of Fame.
"I am very honored and proud that I was also playing during this kind of time."
Hope she will come back some day in the near future.
|Mar 20th, 2014 02:18 PM
Re: Interviews & Articles
MIAMI, FL, USA - Twenty more players battled through to the second round of the Sony Open Tennis on Wednesday, as the first round of the Premier Mandatory-level tournament came to a close.
The seeds don't come marching in 'til Thursday, but there was plenty of star power on Wednesday, including three former Top 10 players: Nadia Petrova, Kimiko Date-Krumm and Andrea Petkovic.
Petrova, a former World No.3 currently at No.205 after injury and personal struggles over the last year, and a wildcard into this event, was the first to play, grinding past Urszula Radwanska in a two-hour, 32-minute marathon, 75 16 64. The Russian won just one more point in the match - 101 to 100.
So where is Petrova in her comeback? "It's actually a good question," she said. "I don't know. Some people think it's going to be hard to come back, especially from where I am right now. And at this stage of my career it's going to difficult. But on the other hand, with all the experience I have and the knowledge of important moments and when to take the initiative, it can be easier. I think it's 50-50.
"But I'm just taking it match by match. At the moment I'm lacking match play - it's been a long time since I've played a lot of matches in a row. It's as frustrating as it is challenging. But I'm just focusing on my game and the things I need to do out there on the court, and I think I'm going to be fine."
|Jan 13th, 2013 08:03 AM
Re: Interviews & Articles
Nadia & Katarina Conquer Sydney
Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik did not drop a set en route to their second doubles title together.
Published January 12, 2013 11:50
In picking up their second WTA title as a duo in their fifth event at the Apia International Sydney without dropping a set, Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik had quite an impressive list of victims.
Petrova and Srebotnik took out former doubles World No.1 Liezel Huber and Sania Mirza in the quarterfinals, former French Open champions Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in the semifinals and current doubles World No.2 Sara Errani and No.1 Roberta Vinci in the final.
Petrova now has 22 WTA doubles titles to her name, and Srebotnik has 31.
"We're very pleased with our first tournament of the year together," said Petrova, whose previous triumph alongside Srebotnik came at Moscow in 2008. "We had good off-seasons and it's nice that it's already paying off - we played some decent doubles this week and every match has been in straight sets, which means a lot. Now we have our eyes on the big prize."
"This tournament gives us a lot of confidence - it was a test to show us where we're at," Srebotnik said. "It was a tough draw for our first tournament together since committing to the partnership for the year, and every match was very, very difficult, but we played well every match. It shows we're in good form."
|Nov 26th, 2012 11:32 AM
Re: Interviews & Articles
Petrova Overpowers Wozniacki, Wins Sofia
November 04, 2012
SOFIA, Bulgaria - With just one more match for the season, she said she was going to leave every last bit of energy out there, and she really did - Nadia Petrova completely overpowered Caroline Wozniacki to win her third WTA title of the year at the Qatar Airways Tournament Of Champions Sofia.
Both players were looking strong going into the final, going undefeated in their round robin groups and fending off inspired opponents in the semifinals. But when it came to the final it was one way traffic, as the No.2-seeded Petrova was on fire, both off the ground and on serve - she held all seven of her service games and broke the No.1-seeded Wozniacki five times to cruise, 62 61.
Petrova's serve was particularly devastating in Sofia - she finished the week with 24 straight holds of serve (holding her last two service games against Tsvetana Pironkova in their round robin match, all 15 of her service games against Roberta Vinci in the semifinals, then all seven against Wozniacki).
"After my match against Vinci last night I didn't think I'd have enough time to recover, but I did all the right things and woke up feeling good," Petrova said. "I knew this was the last one and that I just had to give everything I had left.
"I had some long matches before this, so I had to keep this one to two sets. I didn't really have so much left in my tank, so I had to play smart and keep the points short. Caroline's a great mover and so consistent, so I mixed it up and kept her guessing so that she didn't know what was coming from my side.
"This is a great accomplishment and a great way to finish the season."
Petrova had already won WTA titles this year at 's-Hertogenbosch and Tokyo [Pan Pacific], making this the second time she has won three or more WTA titles in a season (she won five in 2006). She now has 13 total WTA titles.
The Russian was asked afterwards how her current form compares to her 2006 form, which took her up to No.3 in the world. "I cannot say I'm playing my best right now, but I'm definitely going in the right direction," she said. "I'm trying to bring the good years back right now though. Hopefully with the preparation I'm doing in the off-season for next year, you'll be able to see the old Petrova.
"I would love to play singles in Istanbul next year."
|Oct 30th, 2012 01:25 PM
Re: Interviews & Articles
Kirilenko & Petrova's Dream Weekend
ISTANBUL, Turkey - They were the last team in, and now they're the last team standing - Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova had a dream weekend in Istanbul, defeating the Top 2 teams in the world and winning their biggest WTA title at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul 2012.
Last Saturday, Kirilenko and Petrova beat Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears in the semifinals of Moscow, a match that would determine who the fourth and final qualifying team for the WTA Championships would be.
But Kirilenko and Petrova were still the last team in and thus the biggest longshot, and it wasn't an easy week, particularly to start, as they were totally outclassed in the first set of their first match against Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, 6-1; but after that they never looked back, taking out the No.1 seeds, 16 63 104, then on Sunday taking out No.2 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, 61 64, Kirilenko fighting off two break points while serving for the match and the Russians winning it on a return from the Czechs that sailed long.
"I'm very proud - I think we played very solid tennis today," Petrova said in an on-court interview. "We were calm and in control of the game from the beginning, and we didn't lose momentum in the second set. Also, Maria was very brave, holding serve in the last game from two break points down."
"We felt we could dominate the game today - it sounds simple, but really it's quite difficult," Kirilenko said. "We're happy to win another title together."
Kirilenko and Petrova now have four WTA doubles titles together, having won Cincinnati in 2008, Moscow in 2009 and Miami this year. Individually, Kirilenko now has 12 WTA doubles titles, Petrova 21 - and this was Petrova's second WTA Championships title, having won with Meghann Shaughnessy in 2004.
"Our goal this season was just to play the Olympics and win a medal, and we achieved that, and now we're here winning this title," Petrova said. "It's a great way to finish off the doubles season. We have had such a great year."
"It was so difficult to qualify for this tournament - we only did it last week in Moscow - so to be the last team in and win it is just great," Kirilenko added. "We had a great tournament here and this is an amazing feeling."
|Oct 3rd, 2012 07:50 PM
Re: Interviews & Articles
Ricardo Sanchez really helped Nadia
Life Begins At 30 For Petrova
October 01, 2012
Received wisdom suggests that tennis is a young woman's game. However, if recent evidence is anything to go by, received wisdom is fairly wide of the mark.
In the Tokyo final this past weekend, Nadia Petrova, 30, had Agnieszka Radwanska, the World No.3 and a player seven years her junior, chasing shadows for long periods. Petrova's three set victory saw her lift the 12th - and the biggest - title of a career that looks to be anything but slowing down.
After spending most of 2011 bobbing around the 20s and 30s in the rankings and struggling for any form to speak of, Petrova has been a totally different beast this season. The decision to employ Ricardo Sánchez as her new full-time coach in February has revitalized not just the Russian's results but also on-court demeanor.
"Every match I play, I feel like he's playing with me," Petrova said after the final in Tokyo. "He gets so much involved in it. He fist pumps, he gets up, he claps, he helps me out emotionally.
"And even in the third set when I called him at 2-1, I said, 'I need some help from you, because I'm getting low on energy.' And that kind of support courtside it helps a lot, and it was working the whole week."
Victory in Tokyo has taken Petrova up to No.14 in the world - her highest ranking for 27 months - and reinstalled the belief that, even at the grand old age of 30, there is still a place with her name on it at tennis' top table.
"As long as you have the motivation and the will to get better, improve and compete, I don't think age matters," the former World No.3 added. "I still find the will to wake up every morning and go on the court and try to perform my best and get better with each day.
"There are a few players who have won Grand Slams after 30, and I feel like I don't want to walk away from tennis without accomplishing the same. If it's meant to happen it will, but if it doesn't, at the end of my career I'll know I've done everything I could."
And the recent Grand Slam honor roll suggests this is far from a pipe dream; in each of the past three years there has been at least one Grand Slam champion who has been in or past their 30th year, while the same time span has also seen five first-time winners.
|Oct 1st, 2012 01:53 PM
Re: Interviews & Articles
Amazing week for Nadia
Petrova Conquers Radwanska & Tokyo
September 29, 2012
TOKYO, Japan - With a nagging back injury coming in, even she didn't come in believing it would happen. But sometimes good things happen when you least expect them to - and for Nadia Petrova it did this past week, as she won the 12th and biggest WTA title of her career at the Toray Pan Pacific Open.
Last week in Seoul, Petrova had to withdraw mid-tournament with a low back injury - and it was tested again this week across the water in Tokyo, as the No.17-seeded Russian barely scraped through two of her matches en route to the final, battling over three hours to beat Petra Martic in the third round and rallying from 63 41 down to beat No.6 seed Sara Errani in the quarterfinals.
But Petrova passed all those tests, and after a semifinal win over No.8 seed Samantha Stosur she found herself in the biggest final of her long career.
Before this week, Petrova had only ever beaten two Top 10 players at the same tournament once, right here in Tokyo in 2008 - and with wins over Errani and Stosur she matched that. But with World No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska awaiting in the final, she would have to break new ground if she wanted to take the title - beat three Top 10 players at the same tournament for the first time.
Things couldn't have started better for Petrova, as she blew through the first set 6-0, playing almost flawless tennis - 16 winners to three unforced errors. But her game went awry in the second set, hitting seven winners to 14 unforced errors - the No.3-seeded Radwanska took it, 6-1. The final was heading to a final set.
"I played great in the first set but may have used too much energy, and in the second set I felt flat," Petrova said. "It took me a while to recuperate and get back into the game. After the second set when I went to change my clothes, I had a few minutes to think about what to focus on in the third set."
For the first time in the match, the two players both started bringing out their best at the same time; 1-all, 2-all and 3-all followed, and then a Petrova hold for 4-3. Radwanska built a 40-30 lead in her next service game but double faulted twice from there and Petrova pounced, breaking for 5-3 - she then served it out, finishing it with a huge forehand swing volley winner. Final score: 60 16 63.
"After running out of gas in the second set, I don't know where I found the strength and willpower to fight in the third set, but I did and it feels amazing," Petrova said. "This is the biggest tournament I've ever won. It's a great accomplishment. And at the beginning of the tournament I definitely didn't expect to win the title, because of the back injury I've been struggling with.
"I'm so happy to be here right now."
Seven of Petrova's 11 previous WTA titles were Premiers, but this Premier was more blinged out than them all with $2,168,400 in prize money for the field - her previous biggest were Charleston and Berlin in 2006, with $1,340,000 each.
The 30-year-old Petrova was asked in her press conference about the recent surge in success of 30-somethings on the WTA. "There are a few players who have won Grand Slams after 30, and I feel like I don't want to walk away from tennis without accomplishing the same," she said. "I still find the will to wake up every morning and go on the court and just try to improve with each day.
"If it's meant to happen it will, but if it doesn't, at the end of my career I'll know I've done everything I could to achieve it," the former World No.3 added.
Radwanska, who was the defending champion in the Japanese capital, still has a pretty sparkling record in WTA finals in her career: 10-4.
"I'm disappointed - I wanted to win this title so much, and when you're so close and feel you can make it, it's always emotional if you don't," Radwanska said. "But she was playing really well. Her biggest weapon is her serve, for sure, but also her return was very good today, and I had to serve really well myself to hold my serve. But overall I think those two shots were working really well for her."
|Oct 1st, 2012 01:49 PM
Re: Interviews & Articles
Petrova Beats Stosur, First Into Tokyo Final
September 28, 2012
TOKYO, Japan - They had both come from the brink of defeat earlier in the tournament, but when they came up against each other one was much sharper: Nadia Petrova served up a storm in the semifinals of the Toray Pan Pacific Open on Friday afternoon, defeating Samantha Stosur routinely in straight sets to reach the 23rd - and arguably biggest - WTA final of her career.
Both players were nearly sent home en route to this round, Stosur rallying from 4-1 down in the third set to beat Francesca Schiavone in the second round and Petrova rallying from 63 41 down to beat Sara Errani in the quarterfinals.
On the day the No.17-seeded Petrova was just too strong on serve though, losing just 11 points in her first eight service games and, while serving for it at 64 52, fending off Stosur's only three break points of the match to win, 64 62.
"Yesterday Sam beat Maria, who is one of the top players right now, so I knew I had to put in a good performance, and I think I did," Petrova said in her on-court interview. "My serve really helped, because when I'm holding my serve I can focus on breaking serve, and Sam serves very big so that's very important.
"I'm happy I stayed mentally strong throughout the match and when I was serving it out at the end. I'm very happy with how I played today."
Petrova is now through to the 23rd WTA final of her career, going 11-11 in her first 22. But there's something even more special about this one - she has never reached the final of a tournament with this much prize money, in fact it isn't even close, this one having $2,168,400 and her previous-biggest being $1,340,000 (three times at that price - Charleston, Berlin and Moscow, all in 2006).
"I haven't played the final of these kinds of events for a while," Petrova said. "It's a really good achievement for me. I'm going to enjoy it, relax and get ready for tomorrow's final, and maybe I'll even watch some of the girls playing later."
With wins over the No.7-ranked Errani and the No.9-ranked Stosur, this is perhaps surprisingly just the second time Petrova has beaten two Top 10 players at the same tournament - coincidentally, the first time was at this very tournament four years ago in 2008 (No.3 Ana Ivanovic and No.10 Agnieszka Radwanska). She has never beaten three Top 10 players at the same event.
|Oct 1st, 2012 01:45 PM
Re: Interviews & Articles
Petrova's Turnaround, Stosur's Close Finish
September 27, 2012
TOKYO, Japan - Quarterfinals Day at the Toray Pan Pacific Open began with a pair of absolute nail-biters, with Nadia Petrova and Samantha Stosur both moving through and setting up a semifinal clash at the Premier-level tournament.
The No.17-seeded Petrova was the first of the pair to advance, though she had to pull off a Houdini act to do it - down 63 41 and double faulting to face a point for a 63 51 deficit, the Russian flipped the switch just in time, battling back to make it past No.6 seed Sara Errani in three grinding sets, 36 75 63.
"You never want to leave the court without giving everything you have, so even at a set and 4-1 down I still believed I could turn it around," Petrova said.
Petrova, who is currently ranked No.18 in the world but is a former World No.3, is through to her biggest WTA semifinal in three years, since Beijing in 2009.
|Jun 26th, 2012 12:12 PM
Re: Interviews & Articles
Nadia`s first WTA title on grass!
Petrova Too Powerful, Wins In Den Bosch
June 23, 2012
'S-HERTOGENBOSCH, Netherlands - One of the best all-court games on the WTA has been finding its range again, and in 's-Hertogenbosch this past week it all clicked. Former World No.3 Nadia Petrova didn't lose a set en route to her 11th WTA title - and her first WTA title on grass - at the UNICEF Open.
Petrova, the No.8 seed at the International-level event, wasn't even pushed to a tie-break in any of her five matches on the lawns of 's-Hertogenbosch, and capped it with a 64 63 win over Urszula Radwanska, dropping serve in the first game of both sets but recovering quickly each time to win in straights.
"I must say I'm happy to win today in straight sets," Petrova said of the final. "The beginning of the match was a little bit rusty - I lost my serve, even though I was 40-0 up. That put me in a little bit of an uncomfortable situation. But I really controlled my emotions well and broke back to get into the match."
"Nadia was playing amazing today," Radwanska said. "She served so well and I really couldn't do much - she didn't let me play my game. But I was excited to be in my first WTA final and I hope my next final will be coming soon!"
Petrova's first 10 WTA titles were split among hard and clay events - seven on hard, three on clay. She now has an overall 11-11 record in WTA finals.
The 30-year-old Russian also bounces back into the Top 20 now, going from No.22 to No.20 - her first time in the elite since the two weeks of Indian Wells in March 2011, and having gone as low as No.37 in the time since.
"I enjoyed this week very much - I hadn't been here for eight years and it was great, they do everything for the players," Petrova added. "I haven't seen my draw for Wimbledon yet but I hope I have a decent one. I hope to continue playing the same tennis, but I don't want to put any expectations on myself."
Radwanska came out of the qualifying and made it all the way to her first WTA final - she now goes from No.64 to No.54 on the new WTA Rankings.
|May 1st, 2012 04:14 PM
Re: Interviews & Articles
The only other seed to take the court on Day 1 had the opposite experience, as No.7 seed Nadia Petrova
routed Portuguese wildcard Barbara Luz
, 60 61.
"It was a good start. I hadn't played a match on red clay until this event," Petrova said. "This was a perfect warm-up match for me. Tomorrow I'm playing doubles and practicing, and getting ready for my second round match."
Having gone 3-5 on hardcourts to start the year, Petrova is now 4-1 on clay. The former No.3 has had some of her best career results on this surface, her two best Grand Slam results, two semifinals, both coming at Roland Garros
"I'm just trying to keep improving and winning matches," Petrova said. "I'm happy I'm still around, that I'm 30 in a month and am still willing to give it my best and work hard. Anything can happen. I believe strongly that as long as I stay healthy, there's a good chance for me to get back to the Top 10."
|Apr 2nd, 2012 03:39 PM
Re: Interviews & Articles
WTA doubles title #20
Kirilenko & Petrova Crowned In Doubles
MIAMI, FL, USA - Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova captured their third and biggest doubles title together at the Sony Ericsson Open on Sunday afternoon, then donned some unique headgear to celebrate the Premier-level triumph.
Kirilenko and Petrova, who had a 2-0 career record in WTA finals together - at Cincinnati in 2008 and Moscow in 2009 - improved their perfect finals record to 3-0 with a 76(0) 46 104 win over Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, lifting their game when it mattered most, saving a set point down 5-4 in the first set then winning the breaker at love, and of course playing a sharp match tie-break.
"It was a great week for us to be able to win the title here at the Sony Ericsson Open," said Kirilenko, who bounces back into the Top 10 in doubles after the Premier victory. "We are working hard to try to get to the Olympics. It's nice to win such a great tournament like this, especially playing with Nadia."
"It was my third final here - the last two were quite painful, I believe last year we were even serving for the match," Petrova said after the match. "It has been a very long two weeks but now I'm going to head to Charleston with a good feeling, with excitement, with a good motivation to do well there too."
Kirilenko now has 11 WTA doubles titles to her name, Petrova now a clean 20 - and that's not where the milestones ended for the 29-year-old Petrova, who surpassed the $10 million career prize money mark, the 24th player in WTA history to do so (and sixth Russian, after Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Elena Dementieva, Vera Zvonareva and Dinara Safina).
Kirilenko and Petrova celebrated their win with bunny ears (see photo).
"That was actually a dare from Maria," Petrova explained to reporters. "She purchased them like a week ago and said, 'Right, if we win this tournament, we have to put them on right away on the court.' We were already so excited last night - we stayed in separate hotels and put the ears on, taking pictures of ourselves and sending them to each other, both of us all excited for today.
"We were really motivated to win this tournament, because we've been playing well together but didn't have a title for a while really. We knew if we played our game today against Vinci and Errani, we could hopefully end up winning it.
"We were very solid in the super tie-breaker and then, of course, we were obviously excited to wear those ears."
|Mar 14th, 2012 11:41 AM
Re: Interviews & Articles
Great win, Nadia!
Petrova Ousts Stosur, Eyes Return To Elite
March 12, 2012
INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - On an electric night last September, Samantha Stosur and Nadia Petrova played the longest recorded women's match in US Open history, Stosur scoring a 76(5) 67(5) 75 win in three hours, 16 minutes. The memory of that still fresh in her mind, Petrova got her revenge on Monday.
For two hours and 46 minutes, No.6 seed Stosur and No.30 seed Petrova put their aggressive games on display for the Indian Wells crowd, Petrova coming out particularly strong with a 30-minute, 6-1 first set. The Russian looked headed for a straight set win as she built a 3-1 lead in the second set, served for the match at 5-4 and even held match point in the tie-break - but Stosur stood strong each time, eventually grinding through to a third and deciding set.
Stosur twice broke in that third set but Petrova retaliated each time, and in the end the former World No.3 was just too tough for the former World No.4, completing a 61 67(6) 76(5) upset. She fired a total of 15 aces in the match.
"After that loss in New York it was hard," Petrova said. "I wanted to turn everything around. I wanted to win and walk off the court with a W.
"I don't really think I played unbelievable in the first set. My composure was perfect though. I took the time, no errors, and I must say Sam didn't play her best. She was framing balls, not really putting a lot of first serves in - so that actually helped me get the lead in the match, then she picked up her game in the middle of the second set. That's when she started to play Sam's game.
"On match point in the tie-break Sam served unbelievable right on the line. There was nothing I could have done. Then it was a tough battle in the third set."
Petrova has had a glittering career - 10 WTA titles, another 11 WTA finals and some sensational results at the Slams, including two semifinals (both at the French Open); but last year was her first non-Top 20 season since 2002. As she approaches her 30th birthday this year, can the Russian join the growing group of veteran players making breakthroughs, or re-breakthroughs?
"I want to get back into the Top 10. That would be great," she said. "I have been out of that category of players already for a couple of years. It would be a nice thing for me to challenge the new players like, let's say Kvitova, or Azarenka. They're all young, full of energy, hungry for titles and hungry to be No.1.
"I do feel like I'm pushing towards the end of my career, but I know I still have a couple good years left, so I want to maximize myself and give it my all.
"I want to say I have done it all with no regrets."
Though being ranked in the 30s is a dream for most tennis players, for Petrova it is somewhat of a low - she was asked about her slight slide in the rankings. "I have been fine," she explained. "I didn't have that many injuries, except I just had vertigo last year for six weeks right in the middle of the season, which actually did throw me off completely with my physical preparation and match play - that was tough to get back into the season. But now I feel much better. I'm healthy and looking forward to playing as many matches as possible."