TENNIS – Following a turbulent couple of years Andrea Petkovic won the WTA tournament in Charleston. After breaking into the Top 10 in 2011, Petkovic suffered from a variety of injuries, one happening on her way of recovery during Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Now, she has definitely set her eyes on reaching this year’s Fed Cup finals with the German team around Barbara Rittner. Simone Kemler
“I’m going to have champagne and I don’t even drink champagne, but I’m just going to have it for the heck of it in the airplane. I’m going to get drunk I never get drunk on the airplane. That’s what I’m going to do, and I’m going to walk around and dance with the cabin attendants. That’s what I’m going to do.” If you have already had the pleasure to experience Andrea Petkovic in various press-meetings, you know her vibrant, honest and lively of commenting her tennis, that is why it cannot be astonishing to hear her plans after securing her third title on the WTA-tour in Charleston. And it has been a turbulent couple of years for former Top 10 playerAndrea Petkovic. The German took part in an dream week in Charleston, where she defeated fellow-countrywoman Sabine Lisicki, Lucie Safarova, Eugenie Bouchard and Jana Cepelova to lift her third title on the tour and her first since 2011.
After breaking into the Top 10 in 2011, Petkovic suffered from a variety of injuries, one happening on her way of recovery during Porsche Tennis Grand Prix straight in front of her home crowd in Stuttgart. At that time there were many doubts of fans and interested parties that presumed Petkovic having started competing again too early, and as a result of all this, her ranking plummet to a low of No. 177 last March. Now, Petkovic credits her return to her technical developments over the past two years. “I got technically much better after my injuries,” the German said. “You always have to see the good and the bad somehow, and the good thing about my injuries was that I knew I couldn’t rely on my fitness only after all these injuries. I wasn’t able to practice as much as I used to before, so I needed to develop technically, and I needed to develop my game.”
The current world No. 28 recalled the lowest point in her career, the 2013 French Open, where she failed to qualify for the event after losing to a player ranked outside the World Top 160. While she was close to calling it a career on several occasions, she persevered through the trials and tribulations and is thankful to reap the benefits of her hard work. “I think the lowest, lowest, low point was last year at the French Open when I lost second round qualis against a girl that was ranked maybe 160, and I played awful, and that’s when I wanted to stop,” Petkovic said. “Although I also wanted to stop after I lost the match against Giorgi in Indian Wells [this year], so I had a lot of these moments where I wanted to stop playing. But somehow I always kept doing what I did, and I kept not believing, but wanting it, I guess. That’s why I kept working, and I’m very thankful that it paid off in the end.”
Maybe her decisiveness to stick to tennis is a result of her ability to see ‘the big picture of life’. Andrea Petkovic is a bright multi-interested woman, who has for example already made experiences in politics during an internship at the regional government in Hesse. Also Sigmar Gabriel, present Vice-chancellor of Germany is said to be closely acquainted to her and she has repeatedly commented on wanting to play a role in politics and/or German society once she has retired from tennis for good.
But right now, she has definitely set her eyes on reaching this year’s Fed Cup finals with the German team around Barbara Rittner. In the past years Rittner has managed to form a team where several German players like Kerber, Lisicki, Görges, Barthel, Grönefeld and of course Andrea Petkovic press on getting this particular title. During the Easter weekend (19. – 20. April 2014), the ‘girls’ try to overcome the Australian team in their semi-final in Brisbane – of course it is a somewhat extra difficulty to go from the US via Europe all the way to Australia and then straight back to Germany because Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart is waiting. However, the German Fed Cup team is eager to win this rubber and when it comes to Andrea Petkovic: she will give it all, on court herself and off court cheering and supporting the team, if need be until her voice fades.
These are the teams of the Fed Cup tie Australia vs Germany to be held at Queensland Tennis Centre, Brisbane, Australia on outdoor hard-court: Aussie Captain Alicia Molik nominated Sam Stosur, Casey Dellacqua, Ashleigh Barty and Storm Sanders and Barbara Rittner took Angelique Kerber, Andrea Petkovic, Julia Görges and doubles-specialist Anna-Lena Grönefeld.
Fed Cup Finals And Play-Offs Postponed Due to Coronavirus Concerns
The Fed Cup Finals and play-offs have been postponed due to fears over the Coronavirus.
April’s Fed Cup Finals and play-offs have been postponed due to current health concerns associated with the coronavirus.
Today’s announcement comes hours after the Hungarian government announced a ban on any indoor events which has more than 1000 people in it.
The Fed Cup finals were due to take place between the 14th and 19th of April in Budapest but the increasing amount of cases around the world and 13 in Hungary left the ITF with no choice.
In addition, April’s play-offs have also been postponed and will be moved to a later date, with the ITF finding away to solve the problem around eligibility for the summer’s Olympic games.
Speaking on the announcement, ITF President David Haggerty expressed his disappointment but insisted health is more important, “We are extremely disappointed to have to make this decision, but we will not risk the safety and welfare of players, captains, event staff or spectators,” Haggerty said.
“This decision has not been made lightly; the threat posed by the COVID-19 is a serious one and calls for us to act responsibly as a federation and as human beings. This situation goes beyond sport.
“New dates for the Finals and for the Play-offs will be announced in due course and will primarily be guided by the length of time that tennis as a whole is affected by COVID-19. We will continue to collaborate with our colleagues across the sport to ensure that the impact on players, tournaments, rights holders and fans is as minimal as possible.”
The Fed Cup Finals and play-offs are the second tennis event to be postponed because of the coronavirus after the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells was cancelled a couple of days ago.
Currently the Miami Open is set to go ahead although there is a big chance that this tournament could also be cancelled.
The ATP and WTA tournament at the Hard Rock Stadium is set to start on Monday the 25th of March.
Fed Cup Finals Draw: Australia And Czech Republic Given Tricky Tests In Budapest
Australia and Czech Republic have been handed difficult draws for the Fed Cup Finals in Budapest in April.
Australia and Czech Republic have been given tricky draws ahead of the inaugural Fed Cup Finals in Budapest.
The event in Hungary takes place on the 14th-19th of April on clay to prepare players for the clay-court season that will approach.
In the inaugural event there are 12 nations competing for the Fed Cup title with the four group winners advancing to the semi-finals.
Ahead of April’s Fed Cup finale, the draw was announced today which has seen some mouth-watering matches set to take place.
Last year’s finalist’s Australia are in Group B and they have been given tricky tests against a strong Belarus team and Belgium.
Belarus have Aryna Sabalenka, Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Victoria Azarenka at their disposal while Belgium will be lead by Elise Mertens.
Meanwhile the other group in their half of the draw will see Czech Republic will face tough tests against Germany and a Switzerland team lead by Belinda Bencic.
On the other side of the draw, defending champions France will look to successfully defend their title when they face Russia and hosts Hungary.
Given the scenarios, this is a fairly good draw for France who would regard clay as their strongest surface and are favourites to make the last four.
In the last four, France could play USA who have been drawn with Spain and Slovakia who beat Great Britain in last weekend’s qualifiers.
Here is the full draw with the full round-robin schedule for April’s finals set to be released on Monday:
Winner of Group A v Winner of Group C
Winner of Group B v Winner of Group D
Great Britain Handed Mexican Away Trip In Fed Cup Play-Off Draw
Great Britain face another away tie as they travel to Mexico in the Fed Cup Play-Offs.
Great Britain have been handed an away trip to Mexico in the Fed Cup Play-Off draw as they look to compete in next year’s qualifiers.
The Brits, who were without Johanna Konta in their 3-1 defeat away to Slovakia, will now head to Mexico in April looking to avoid being relegated to Zone Group I.
Just like their tie in Bratislava, they are likely to be without Johanna Konta who has one eye on the Olympic Games and also like their tie this past weekend the tie will probably be on clay.
However this time the British team will be favourites to make next year’s Fed Cup qualifiers as the Mexican don’t have a single Women’s singles player in the top 200.
There will be eight Fed Cup play-offs which will be played on the 17th and 18th of April, with the eight winners joining eight teams from the Fed Cup finals.
14 of the 16 teams are confirmed with the Asia/Oceania Zone Group I still needed to be played in early March in Dubai after the Coronavirus epidemic meant that China couldn’t host the event in February.
Here is the full Fed Cup play-off draw:
(C) = Choice of Ground
Brazil v Poland (C)
Great Britain v Mexico (C)
Canada v Serbia (C)
Latvia (C) v Asia/Oceania Nation TBC
Japan (C) v Ukraine
Romania (C) v Italy
Kazakhstan v Argentina (C)
Netherlands (C) v Asia/Oceania Nation TBC
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