Andrea Petkovic was not happy about missing a forehand at 5-5 in the tiebreak of her clay court match. She was not happy at missing out on a rare opportunity. The miss cost her the tiebreaker which she lost 7-5 and...
Andrea Petkovic was not happy about missing a forehand at 5-5 in the tiebreak of her clay court match. She was not happy at missing out on a rare opportunity. The miss cost her the tiebreaker which she lost 7-5 and with it the chance to get Andy Roddick to take his shirt off. Yup she was playing A-Rod. Needless to say Roddick was given enough of a hard time by his best mate Mardy Fish, the leading American man on the tour who ribbed him about how close the match was, and in turn Roddick said it was a bigger deal that he beat Fish comfortably on clay. Petkovic is developing into one of the most charismatic individuals in women’s tennis. Don’t you think she is the women’s game’s answer to Roddick and Novak Djokovic without the sometime petulance? The German has breathed new life into women’s tennis as a tremendous personality and a darn good tennis player with wins over the likes of world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, Venus Williams and Jelena Jankovic to name just a few. She is funny, down to earth and someone who is just having an absolute ball with her career. Andrea, it would be fair to say, is in her second career. A horrific leg injury about seven years ago should have spelled the end of her playing career but her will and determination allowed her to come back. It was at last year’s US Open when she came to everyone’s attention when she did what became known as the Petko-dance following a big win over Nadia Petrova. Her coach inspired her to do something different. “He said to me if you win, you have to do something special because it's a special match for us,” she said. “I won 7-6 in the third, so I got the inspiration of doing a dance, and ever since it's been there. I'm very superstitious, so since I'm doing the dance I'm playing much better. I try to keep it up; the playing better and the dance.” However a couple of months ago she decided to retire her soft-shoe shuffle and just produce the dance moves with her returns. There is such a refreshing honesty about this delightful German but she’s admitted her openness gets her in trouble. “Sometimes I talk sarcastically and people don't seem to get it, especially in the writing media. You cannot really bring that to the media, so I get in trouble all the time,” Petkovic said. “I'm not so long on the tour, maybe one-and-a-half years. But I learned to deal with it. In the beginning I made some mistakes that got back to me, and I'm more careful now. But I still try to stay as honest as I can.” There is an air of confidence about her now. She’s always believed in herself but it took time to get the runs on the board; she needed the experience and the consistency. She sees that whole injury and rehab situation as a curse and a blessing: “I wasn't so sure if tennis was my priority in life. I was quite good in school, so I was thinking of studying and just taking a career in those terms. After my big injury I just felt, okay, this is the thing I want to do. This is what I really love.” And tennis is all the better for her being around. Hopefully others will take a leaf out of her book, or better still a step from her dance card.