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May 27, 2019

Andrea Petkovic

Paris, France


2-6, 6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. How are you feeling after?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: I'm feeling great. I'm feeling good. I'm really happy with the win. I really don't like playing Alison. I think she's a great competitor, and she just has a game that is complicated for me to deal with. She plays so flat, and she's just a fighter. And I think we are both great competitors so I was a little short in the beginning. My strokes were a little short and then she really took full control and played incredibly well.

So I was really glad I served a couple of good serves when it was most important and was able to turn it around, yeah.

Q. You had your best result here. What does it feel like to come back to Roland Garros kind of every year?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: I love it here. I mean, I really see that people complain about that it's very small, I guess, for a Grand Slam. But I love it here. I just -- I have a weakness for Paris and France. And I just think it's charming, everything about it. I know there's a lot of people, but we are lucky we can just hide in the locker room. So that's okay for us.

And I find it charming, so I really like it here.

Q. Well done. I would like to ask you a general question, which is tennis players' careers are often shaped by the choices they make, their decisions. If you had to take a moment and just share with us the key one or two decisions that were really central.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: For my life or for my tennis career?

Q. Either way.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Either way. Well, for my life, definitely when I convinced my dad to let me play tennis because he was really fixated on me going to college. And I convinced him to give me two years to play tennis, so that was definitely one big decision.

And the other one I guess just continuing every day, day-to-day decision, especially once you're my age in the tennis. I guess it's just a day-by-day. There are hard days, there are nice days, but it's just day by day you choose to be here.

And I'm very grateful that I get the opportunity that I still love it, that I still enjoy it, and that gets me through the tough days for now. So I think those are the -- I think the little decisions really make the biggest difference in the end.

Q. Would you mind a broad, kind of philosophical question about clay court tennis? And that is I often hear players say that in the ideal world you would start on clay as the foundation of all tennis and that from that it would be easier to transition to hard courts and grass as opposed to the converse, you know, starting on hard.

Q. And I'm just wondering if you have given that any thought or have a personal point of view on what is the smart progression.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: That's interesting. I haven't really thought about this because I grew up naturally on clay. I think most of us Europeans did. And just for me, I like clay because it makes the game a little slower and it gives you the opportunity to really use your brains and use tactical choices.

And just on grass and on hards, everyone has gotten so powerful and tennis has gotten so quick, sometimes it's more a survival than really what I consider playing tennis, which is like a chess game in my eyes. So I like that on clay you still have the opportunity to run down balls and to use certain tactical aspects to the game.

But generally, I have also had really good results on hard court. Grass, not so much. So I think I like that it's so challenging in tennis that you have the different surfaces and the different tournaments in countries and surroundings, and I think that's what makes our sport one of the most challenging.

Q. There are many who dismiss the discussion on who is the greatest of all time, but fans love to talk about it. And there's Steffi from your country and we've been seeing Serena of late, others mentioned Martina, among others. But can you just talk about that? Who do you feel are the greatest of all time?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: I really don't think I'm in the position to judge that. I do think Serena and Steffi are two of the greatest. I wouldn't want to -- I would throw a coin. If you would really nail me on it, I would throw a coin and let the coin decide, but I wouldn't want to decide that.

Obviously Serena has one slam more than Steffi. Is it that one slam that makes a difference? I don't know. I do think Serena had a tougher upbringing where she comes from and what she had to endure as an African-American person in our sport. But then again, Steffi had tough surroundings as well with her dad. So you just can't compare the two. But they're definitely both up there.

Happy Birthday, Steffi. (Smiling.)

Q. On Serena, she was just talking about Nike has had some issues with pregnant women and contracts. I don't know if you have read any of this stuff. Other athletes have been dropped from their contracts when they got pregnant. So they're trying to reform this now. And Serena was not dropped, I don't think.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Imagine Nike would have dropped Serena because she got pregnant? That's a bad marketing move right there. (Laughter.)

Q. That would not have been great. But I'm curious with her, how you see her as a sort of symbol for the sort of social movements and just also the conversation surrounding women's tennis.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, listen, my writing career, I just published an article on exactly that issue in the Freizeit which was published yesterday, so if you like, I can give you a copy of that, and if you speak German.

No, I just wrote a thing I could go into this now into depth, but I think it's late for everyone. But I just wrote about Serena's impact on pop culture and society and diversity and female body images because I thought it was really interesting.

And Nike played a big part in the whole research process as well because they were the first ones, I think, who really focused on -- I think with Tiger, it started with Tiger, just kind of political activism marketing that they do, and so it's really interesting to me.

So I feel like it's kind of -- I don't know. It's really strange that they dropped the pregnant women after they used political activism for their marketing. I think that's a quite interesting thing to hear.

But I don't want to really comment on something that I don't have enough information on. But I do think it's a really interesting issue, but we don't have enough time in a press conference at 8:45 to go into depth. But we can talk, have coffee, Ben.

Q. Speaking of your soaring writing career, I believe you were in New York at the end of last season to write your book?

Q. Just what was that like and why you decided New York and everything?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, I wanted to do it in Eastbourne, actually, because every time I came to Eastbourne, I was like, if I ever write a book, it's going to be here. I don't know why. It just seems like this kind of writer's retreat thing.

But then Caitlin from Racquet Magazine, she's kind of my mentor a little bit when it comes to writing, and she advised me that if I do hit a wall and I'm in Eastbourne, maybe it would be better to be somewhere closer where I can go see my friends. So that's why I decided on Woodstock, which was still very secluded.

But I had the opportunity to go to New York, which I did at one point, and it was a great experience for me. It was very different from tennis.

There are also similarities when it comes to discipline, but just I'm used to tennis to sweat and have adrenaline and all these things. And in writing you just kind of like feel everything inside you and it hurts your soul and your heart. And I didn't like the feeling, but then, in the end, it's a really nice outcome and nice feeling. And I'm very excited about that, that I have something on the side that helps me to cope with the tennis life.

Q. What was your process and what were you kind of writing every day?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah, I was writing every day. What was interesting, I could never write more than three hours no matter how I -- even if I wrote three hours in a row or if I wrote five times half an hour, I never could really write more than that. So I guess that's my line that I can't cross for now, at least.

But, yeah, I was able to be much more productive and creative, especially because once you think about an issue all the time, you get epiphanies every now and then, which on the tennis tour I don't really get epiphanies, none that would really help me in my life, at least.

Q. Is your book done or how is your progress on that?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: It's going to be published in 2020, autumn.

Q. Are you finished writing it?

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