Saturday, January 29, 2011

Andrea Petkovic

Andrea Petković (Serbian cyrillic: Андреа Петковић, born 9 September 1987 in Tuzla) is a German professional tennis player and the current German No. 1. She lives in Griesheim near Darmstadt in Germany. Petkovic reached her career-high singles ranking of World No. 32 on 18 October 2010. Petkovic's highest doubles ranking was World No. 68 on 28 September 2009. She has won 1 WTA title, 8 ITF singles titles and 3 ITF doubles titles. Petkovic became the German national champion in 2007 and 2009. She's currently coached by Petar Popović and her father, Zoran Petković.

Andrea Petković born in Tuzla to Serbian parents. Her parents, first took her to the tennis courts when she was six; Her father, Zoran Petković, who played twice in the Yugoslavia Davis Cup team, losing to Ilie Năstase of Romania in 1980 and beating Jan Svensen of Norway in 1982, was a coach at a club in Darmstadt at the time. He introduced her to the sport and later became her coach. She was able to finish high school before competing in tennis full-time because Zoran never influenced her into joining the professional circuit. Apart from tennis, she likes to educate herself by reading; her favourite authors are Goethe and Wilde. Her mother Amira is a dental assistant while her younger sister Anja is a student. Petković graduated from high school in 2006 with an Abitur from the Georg-Büchner-Schule in Darmstadt, a Gymnasium. She has been studying Political science at the Distance University of Hagen since 2008. Since the beginning of her professional career, she keeps a diary at irregular intervals about her life on the WTA-Tour in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a major German newspaper. Petković obtained German citizenship in 2001, after living in Germany for eight years, as required by German nationality law. She speaks Serbian, German, English and French. Petković is of Serbian ancestry and was born in present day Bosnia and Herzegovina (then part of SFR Yugoslavia), in a 2009 interview with the WTA she stated how her parents might move to Novi Sad, Serbia, where they have a second home. When asked how German she feels Petković replied that "Obviously I'm German, but I always say my soul is still Serbian. Germans are generally more cool, reserved. I'm very emotional, have lots of fire in my personality. In that sense still feel very close to my heritage. For all that, there is much to appreciate about Germany. I feel like I am part of the 'system' and feel very rooted there."

Video from Andrea Petkovic

Video from Andrea Petkovic

Petkovic turned professional in 2006 after she finished school,[3] but she had already won 4 ITF titles. She was the winner of the tournaments in Antalya, Podgorica (both in 2004), Davos and Alphen aan den Rijn (both in 2005). In April 2007, she became a member of the German Fed Cup team. She played her first Grand Slam at the 2007 French Open, where she reached the second round after coming through the qualifying without losing a set and beating Jarmila Groth. There she lost 6–0 2–6 3–6 to later Wimbledon-finalist Marion Bartoli. After this, and having some success on the ITF-Circuit (she won the ITF title in Contrexéville in July 2007), she reached the Top 100 in the WTA-Ranking for the first time. Because of that, she was able to play in the 2007 US Open main draw without having to qualify. She once again reached the second round after beating Audra Cohen. In round two she lost to Lucie Šafářová 3–6 3–6. At the Australian Open in January 2008, in her first round match against Russia's Anna Chakvetadze, she suffered a cruciate ligament rupture in her right knee after only two minutes of play. This prevented her from playing any tournament for almost eight months, which caused her ranking drop down to a lowest level of 465. After the injury, she started playing mostly on the ITF-Circuit again where she could win a tournament in Istanbul in November 2008. She finished the year with a ranking of 315. In 2009, Petkovic played her first tournament at the Australian Open due to a protected ranking. She beat fellow German Kathrin Wörle to reach the second round but then lost to Alizé Cornet. She mostly kept on playing ITF tournaments until June with a lot of success, for example she won the US$100,000 tournament in Bucharest, where she defeated Jelena Dokić in the semis, regaining a ranking in the top 100. In July 2009, Andrea Petkovic won her first WTA tournament in Bad Gastein losing only one set. In the final, she beat Ioana-Raluca Olaru 6–2, 6–3. On her way to the title, she defeated, amongst others, Anna-Lena Grönefeld and Iveta Benešová. She also played the doubles final in Bad Gastein partnering Tatjana Malek. The following week, Petkovic reached the semifinal in Istanbul, losing to Lucie Hradecká in 3 tight sets. After those two weeks, she achieved her hitherto career high singles ranking of 52. For the rest of the year she struggled to repeat her success but had another good tournament at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo where she came through the qualifying and reached the round of last 16. In second round she had her first top 10 win by beating Svetlana Kuznetsova 7–5 4–6 6–3. Afterwards she lost to Agnieszka Radwańska in three sets.

She played her first tournament in 2010 in Brisbane, Australia, where she reached the semifinal with wins over Iveta Benešová, Vania King and Daniela Hantuchová. She only lost to the later tournament champion Kim Clijsters 4–6 2–6. After that tournament she reached the top 50 of the WTA-Ranking for the first time. At the Open GDF Suez in Paris, Petkovic reached the quarterfinals after defeating Katarina Srebotnik and #5 seed Aravane Rezaï, but lost to Elena Dementieva 6–3 4–6 2–6. At the 2010 French Open she defeated Elena Vesnina of Russia 4–6 6–1 6–4 in the first round. She was beaten 4–6 7–5 6–4 by defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round after missing four match points on her own serve at 6–4 5–4. Petkovic was seeded 7th at the 2010 UNICEF Open and advanced to the final with wins over Petra Kvitová, Ana Ivanović, Sandra Záhlavová, and Kirsten Flipkens. She lost to Justine Henin in the final 6–3 3–6 4–6. Petkovic's best singles performance in a Grand Slam event came at the 2010 US Open. Her first two matches were three-set upset victories over Nadia Petrova 6–2, 4–6, 7–6 (7–4) and Bethanie Mattek-Sands 3–6, 6–3, 7–5. She performed a memorable crowd-pleasing little dance following both triumphs. After she received a third-round walkover due to an injury to Peng Shuai, Petkovic lost her first career Arthur Ashe Stadium appearance to eventual tournament finalist Vera Zvonareva 1–6 2–6. Returning to the Brisbane International, Petkovic improved on her previous best semi-final appearance by dancing her way to the finals with straight set wins over 8th seeded Alexandra Dulgheru, Jelena Dokic, Jarmila Groth, and 4th seeded Marion Bartoli. In the final she lost to Wimbledon semi-finalist Petra Kvitová 1-6 3-6. Petkovic is the 30th seed at the 2011 Australian Open. She advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating Jill Craybas, Anne Keothavong, injured #3 seed Venus Williams retiring after one game, and #14 seed Maria Sharapova. She was defeated 2-6 4-6 by Li Na of China in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

Andrea Petkovic cute pose

Andrea Petkovic with her cute smile

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