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August 12, 2015

Andrea Petkovic


6‑4, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andrea, please.

Q. I wonder if you could draw on your experience over the years going up in rankings and then down and bringing it back again. What were some of the tactics you used sort of when you were kind of in that low and trying to regain again?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, the thing that I learned with the years is that you have to separate yourself from your ranking and from your tennis player persona. You sort of have to‑‑ if you get into the spiral that you define yourself over your results and over your ranking, you're in real trouble, and it gets really tough to get out of there. But once you are able to build your self worth with other stuff and with your principles or with the hard work you put in every day, I think it's easier to get back to where you were before and just, you know, sort of take the lows with a head high and then really enjoy the highs.

Q. Do you remember any instances where you felt you were very low, like what is sort of feels like? Does it affect your sleep, your eating?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, I just felt very low on self‑ confidence. After my injuries and I was playing again, but I wasn't playing on the level that I was used to, and I was expecting much more of myself, and I just felt like my confidence was going down in all areas of my life. And it took me‑‑ and then I was getting into the spiral of thinking, why did this happen to me, why, why, why, why me, why not anybody else. And once I got over that part, once I just started, you know, to leave the past in the past and just sort of go forward, it was much easier for me to build momentum and to gain self‑confidence from other stuff, and then it was easier for me to be secure on court, because I think all the insecurities we carry around in the off court, we bring it on court with us and then it's really tough to deal with this when you're just low on confidence. And it was a difficult time for me to get through. I still get into the spiral sometimes, but now I can see it much earlier and try to work against it.

Q. Andrea, so you had three straight three‑set matches, two in Stanford, one here and then now you finally got one in straits. So talk about your progression over the course of the last couple of weeks and where do you think‑‑ do you come out of this one positive?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah, well, it was really difficult today with the wind. It was absolutely ghastly. And I just learned a new word. I wanted to slip it in somewhere. So yeah. One for me. And it was really difficult. And I felt like I‑‑ I probably played the best in the second set against Corina Witthöft, but all the other‑‑ I don't know. I was just‑‑ I wasn't relaxed, you know. Something was holding me back, maybe because I had worked so hard and too many expectations to show everything that I put into the two weeks of practice that I had and just feeling so great in practice. Maybe it was too many expectations. I really don't know. But yesterday was the first time I felt physically really, really strong, especially in the third set. We had some long rallies, and my pulse didn't go up at all. Just a little, and it went really fast back down. And then today, the same thing. I was struggling. Both‑‑ I think everyone was struggling with the wind today. It was really, really difficult to play. And I just got over myself and I started running, and that kind of gives me confidence that I was feeling so strong, yeah.

Q. Can you set aside‑‑ I know you've in the past been incredibly complimentary about Serena. Things like that. If you step on the court against her tomorrow, can you set all that aside?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, I think in the beginning it's always‑‑ I mean I've played here I think three or four times before, so I know that experience. And I feel like in the beginning you feel her presence because she has this charisma and she has just the type of behind her back and you can sort of feel her presence and obviously the people are looking at her differently. It's just a different energy on the court.
But after a few points, after a few games, it normally goes away, and any ways, I'm a type of player that sort of focuses just on myself. I don't even look on the other side. And I just try to play point by point, and that's what I'm going to try to do tomorrow. But definitely you can sense just‑‑ not only by her, but by everything that something else is going on. So I'm just really excited to get that challenge before the Open. I think it's really those matches that I need now.

Q. A lot of‑‑ when she's written about or when you talk to other players about her, everybody focuses on the power, obviously the serve?

Q. Forehand, things. Do you think that‑‑ I mean there's more to her game than that.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah, not at all. I always‑‑ when people say she's so much strong‑‑ she's strong, obviously, but when you play her it's not her power that really‑‑ it's her serve, right. She just gets a lot of free points on her serve and you feel the pressure from there. But once she's in the rally, I think we talked about this before. She opens the court. She doesn't go for her shots. She goes for the returns and when she has a short ball, yes, she goes for it. But when she's in the rally, she tries to open the court with the angle and then goes for the ball. So she really builds the point. She doesn't always go full power. And I don't think she would be where she is with that type of game. Maybe ten years ago, but not today. Today is physically so fast and can get to those balls. If you play like this we can handle those balls. But she plays very very smart and he I think people don't give her enough credit for that. She's crafty. She can play anything. I remember the match she played against Henin at the Australian Open and she was forced to play the higher slice and the spin, and she did all that. And people tend to focus on the most obvious, and that's the power. But you know, that's people.

Q. Given the wind conditions here and in New York it'll be much worse actually.

Q. Yeah. When you play Serena tomorrow, would you try to change a little bit with your hits or would it be flatter or more top spin to put the ball in play?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, no. I will just try to play my game. Obviously you adjust to each and every player. You have your tactics. You know their strengths. You know they're weaknesses. Some have more weaknesses. Serena has less weaknesses. But I will try‑‑ I think that's the most important thing that identify also maybe learned with experience.
Once you play the top players, you have to try to play your game because a lot of players try to over play because they are playing Serena or Maria or Vika, all those top girls. And that's when they‑‑ when they get the easy wins, when the other players try to overplay. You just have to sort of stick with your game, play really well. Obviously you're not going to get away with playing badly. But that's what you gotta try to do, stick with your game and then try to find some weaknesses and go for them.
And yeah, what I always do, I will grab my best friend, YouTube.com and look at some of her recent matches, and my coach obviously as well. And we're going to have a tactic, but I will really try to stick with my game plan and then see what happens really.

Q. So you tweeted last week that you saw "Whiplash?"
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yes. It's the best film I've ever seen in my life.

Q. Like a lot of athletes that I've talked to that have seen it?

Q. There's similarities that they can take out of it with respect to the coach, people, relationship. And I'm just kind of curious what your thoughts are on that.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: On the relationship?

Q. On the ownership, and also whether or not‑‑
ANDREA PETKOVIC: It was mental abuse?

Q. Yeah. A little bit, you know. I mean if greatness can be found that way, is it okay? I mean‑‑
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah. Well, I think everybody sees something else in that movie and that's what fascinated me so much about it and what fascinated me and intrigued me so much about the movie was the fact that it was never really clear up until the end if the guy is a genius. Normally you know if somebody is a genius. Right?
So it really was the relationship between the two guys that brought out the best and the great in him. And so that was really interesting to see if you sometimes need somebody to trigger those points, because obviously a genius was inside of him. That's how I understood it. But you know, normally you know before; right? I mean Beethoven, I think he knew that I'm special. You know? And so that's what really intrigued me, this sort of thing, you know, like in biology where you have plants that just can grow around other plants, you know. Sometimes maybe their personalities they can just grow around other personalities. Hopefully I'm not that type of person, but you know, maybe that is‑‑ I thought it was very fascinating. And I rewatched the last‑‑ seen the ending already 10 times. I loved it.
THE MODERATOR: Any more questions? Thank you.

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