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May 26, 2015

Andrea Petkovic


6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. How did you feel out there and how nervous were you after just the last few weeks? And injury concerns and all that, how are you?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: I was very nervous, but more actually more nervous with my leg because I didn't know how I will feel. I didn't practice at all for three days, and then I just practiced standing, which was okay. But I think two days ago I played a few points and that was okay, but I didn't move to any dropshots. So I was very nervous today before my match because I didn't know at all how it's going to go. Only thing I do know is I'm playing really well. Sometimes when you have some time off your body just recovers from all the matches, all the stress. And so I knew that I was playing well. Just didn't know how I'm going to move. If you saw the first set, I was still walking like on eggs. I was just trying to find my range. Once I ran to couple of dropshots and I felt fine, then I sort of settle and I started moving better and I started sliding again, which was I think the most important. So I'm really happy with that. Hopefully I can do some more of it tomorrow in practice now that I have the confidence in my leg again. It's not perfect yet, but it's good enough, I guess.

Q. Are you still doing recovery and stuff like that?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah, yeah. I have my physio with me. Actually, I'm doing treatment every day for two or three hours. I was so lucky I got a Tuesday start. I was praying to everybody, God, Jesus, whatever you believe in, Allah. So I was so lucky because the two days meant so much to me really. On Sunday end I didn't move at all still, so would've been a totally different story. I was very, very lucky. So, yeah, I mean, my physio is doing everything she can and it's getting better day by day, but it's just not perfect yet. But I'm playing well, so, you know. (Hands showing scales.)

Q. How does that work mentally? You said in the beginning maybe you weren't going to test it sliding or chasing dropshots. At some point in the match does it snap and your instincts take over or your body does that, do you say, Okay, this one I'm going to slide? What's the decision-making process?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: It's more of instinct. It's sort of also kind of letting go, because in the beginning I was still -- I was taking myself back. I wasn't intense in my legs. I was just sort of hitting the ball well, but not 100% with my legs just because I didn't trust them. For me, the most difficult part was actually -- because I really like to try everything out in practice and then I know I'm ready and go on to the match. Now for me the difficult part was my team holding me back in practice and trying to make me not run. Because I was nervous if it's going to work and I wanted to try it in practice. Then again, one more day of rest means a lot in a muscle injury. So that was most troubling and confusing part, I guess. But, yeah, then in the second set I think the most important was the two dropshots, when I ran there. Because it happened on a drop is not Nuremberg, so I was really scared on that one. When it went fine, I sort of felt my confidence coming back. More like sort of a flowing thing, not something that is conscious. Yeah, then once I was sliding to my forehand and I was fine, then I felt really good by the end.

Q. Now that you've got the first match out of the way, are you able to treat this as like a Grand Slam where you see yourself going far again, or still cautious?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: I'm still cautious. Also today with Shelby I knew there were not going to be huge rallies, so I was ready for that. The last days in practice my leg was fine for an hour or so and then started cramping up. So I don't know how it's going to go when I play somebody that is not as much of a hard hitter but maybe plays a little more spin, which I will probably have in the second round. Then the rallies will take longer time. So I'm still not putting my expectations too high. You know, I feel like a horse in this thing that wants to run out but I can't because there are -- it's blocking me. I feel like I'm playing really, really well, but it's just too dangerous yet to say anything. I feel like it's not 100% yet. It has been injured, but it's getting better day by day. We'll see. (Laughter.)

Q. How would you describe the clay here from the way it plays, the way it looks, the way it dirties your shoes and socks?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, the funny thing, I think Roland Garros is one of the tournaments that is most dependable on the weather. That's just my feeling. Because it can play really, really fast when it's hot and dry and can be really slow when it's like today. I felt today was super slow. You really had to open up the court in order to play a winner. I played here also and I hit 12 aces, which never happened to me in my life because it was so hot. It was 30 degrees and so dry. I think Roland Garros is really one of the tournaments that's so dependable on the weather. The clay, because there is not too much clay, once it gets dry it can play really fast. When it's like today, it plays slower. It's just, I don't know. It's great. I love it. It's just one of my favorite tournaments. I feel super comfortable every time I step out on the court here.

Q. Since the conditions play a big factor, does your game plan change accordingly or not to that extent?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, kind of. Sometimes. Well, my strings change a lot accordingly. The thing here is that you -- it sort of takes everything that you give it. That's what I really like. If you play fast, it takes your fast past and fast shots. If you play spin, it also takes the topspin. Really favors all type of players. I really love when you can see the difference between the players and you have to work the points and you have to have a certain strategy in order to win matches, to win points. That's my favorite type of tennis, so that's why I probably love it most here. No wind, you know. (Laughter.) Just a few factors that just go my way, I guess.

Q. When did you get here to Paris since you pulled out of your last tournament, and what have you been doing to keep your mind off everything and stay calm before the tournament started?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, I came here on Thursday. Before that I was at home. I didn't do anything. On Thursday I hit 20 minutes, just a few balls from the middle. That went really bad, so just feeling-wise with my leg was still hurting a lot. So I was very upset on Thursday. Friday went a little better. The problem is normally I love Paris, going through the museums and strolling around, but I really had to take care of my leg. I was benched watching Penny Dreadful, if you know that. It's great. You have to check it out.
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