petkovic injury

Andrea Petkovic: Brief Flirt with Retirement After French Open Loss; Overcoming Fear of Injury

(June 10, 2013) After failing to qualify for this year’s French Open, former world No. 9 Andrea Petkovic admitted to briefly contemplating retirement after her loss in Paris.

“I sat on the bench next to my coach and said, ‘I quit,’” stated the 25-year-old in Nürnberg on Monday.

In the summer of 2011, Petkovic broke into the top 10 for the first time and her career finally seemed to be on track after injuries had plagued her earlier in her life. But unfortunately for the German, the success once again halted there.

Petkovic was forced to miss much of the first half of the 2012 season with a back injury, and then in just her second match back, she suffered a horrible ankle injury in Stuttgart in April. After three-and-a-half months of rehabilitation, Petkovic returned and played seven tournaments to end the season. Then at the Hopman Cup exhibition at the end of December, she suffered a meniscus tear in her right knee which kept her off the tour for another two months.

After scraping for points and wild cards since her ranking had taken a plunge, Petkovic’s optimistic attitude took her to the third round of both Miami and Charleston this year. But the progress ceased again as she withdrew from Charleston with a calf strain, admitting to “disappointment and anger” at the situation, and then lost in the first round of Stuttgart and the first round of qualifying in Madrid.

She then went on to lose in the second round of qualifying at the French Open to China’s Yi-Miao Zhou in three close sets, which caused her to briefly contemplate retirement.

Luckily for Petkovic, her long-time coach, Petar Popovic didn’t take her seriously.

“He just laughed and a few days later [I] picked up my racquet again,” commented the German.

On Sunday, Petkovic won the ITF tournament in Marseille without dropping a set against her higher-ranked opponents, even dishing out a double bagel to young Puerto Rican Monica Puig in the semifinals.

“I am very relieved that my body has been able to survive those five matches in a row,” said Petkovic of her results in Marseille. “Everything has held up, even the knee. I have refueled myself with a lot of confidence, especially in my body. I can say that I have overcome the fear of injuring myself again. The fact is that I feel that I am now moving again as in my best moments.”

Petkovic takes on Sofia Arvidsson in the first round of Nürnberg, and if she wins, will take on compatriot Julia Goerges in the next round.

The 24-year-old Goerges has overcome her own share of injuries, most recently the wrist problem that continued into her first round loss at the French Open. But there is good news on the horizon.

“The wrist is stable,” Goerges said before her first round match against Romanian Alexandra Cadantu. “I’m on a good path. It’s almost strange to be able to hit the ball normal again, without having any pain.”

Photos from Monday’s WTA Nürnberg joint pre-tournament press conference with Julia Goerges and Andrea Petkovic by Rick Gleijm for Tennis Grandstand. Stay tuned all week for daily player and match galleries.

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Stuttgart: WTA All Access with Andrea Petkovic and Angelique Kerber

STUTTGART (April 22, 2013) — On Monday at the opening of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, world No. 6 Angelique Kerber and former top 1o player Andrea Petkovic sat down with media and gave their thoughts on everything from their tennis season, to injury recovery, to favorite off-court activities and more.

Andrea Petkovic

. . . on her recollection of injuring her ankle against Victoria Azarenka in last year’s tournament:
“The injury is still in my head. But I want to ban the bad memories and replace them with nice moments. Especially as Stuttgart always has been my favorite tournament.”

. . . on surviving without tennis during her injury layoff:
“That was by far the most difficult thing. I love tennis and I especially missed the competitive side of the game. But my family and friends have helped me get back on track and given me lots of encouragement.”

. . . on getting through her injuries, and her current form:
“I’m an optimistic person and have invested a lot of time in rehab and training. Tennis is a big love of my life. The energy (to fight through injury) just comes naturally… I feel really good again and am physically very fit.”

. . . on her aims for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix:
“Not too much. I simply just want to enjoy some nice moments and the tournament generally. If I win manage to win a match or two, it’d be naturally fantastic.”

. . .  on her goals for the year:
“In 2013 I want to get back in the main draws at Grand Slams. It means I have to re-turn to the top 100. I’m going to take things carefully this year as my body has to get used to the pressure again. I see this year as being a platform for things to come.”

Angelique Kerber

. . . on her rise to becoming a Top 10 player: 
“Everything obviously went really quickly last year but I’ve now established myself in the top ranks. But I can still do a lot to improve my game and I’ll definitely be keeping my feet on the ground. My friends and family will make sure of that!”

. . . on her off-court hobbies: 
Actually, all the normal things. I like to read and go with friends to the cinema. And I’ve got a weakness for fast cars. It’s why I really look forward to this tournament – it’d be great to drive home from the tournament in a Porsche.”