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August 5, 2011

Andrea Petkovic


A. PETKOVIC/S. Stephens
6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Could you tell her youth and inexperience showed a little bit there when she let it get away so quickly?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, yeah, I felt like in the beginning, the first maybe six games, it was a really tough battle. It was just equal, you know, 50/50.
Well, I think she felt that I was sticking with her pace and I was able to go the rallies with her. You know, she didn't push me back behind the baseline. I stayed on the line. I gave her a lot of pressure.
So I think after I made the break for 4-2, it was too much in the beginning, just with the inexperience.
But as I said already at the on-court interview, her ball is really, really heavy, and she hits it so well. So she has a great future in front of her.

Q. Do you remember any of those moments when you were just out on the tour where you felt like, How did that happen so fast?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, it's a little different. My case is a little different because I went to school for so long. I started when I was 19, 20. So I was already maybe not tennis experienced but life experienced when I came on the WTA Tour, which was good and which helped.
But on the other hand, of course, I had these matches where I felt like I was actually surprised being able to stick up to the top players and then just let it slip away after I felt like, Okay, I cannot break them right now.
So I think I know how she felt.

Q. From a tennis standpoint, your experience plays a big part, you're a better player than she is at this point. What do you get out of a match like that?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: You know, I think it's very important when you play these young players to just sort of show who's the boss on the court. There will come another time and another place when she will be a top player. If she keeps working hard, if she keeps going like she's doing now, there will come an important match, maybe in a Grand Slam. Then you just have to show in these kind of matches that you are there, that you are mentally in the match, that you take them seriously, and that you fight for every point.
For myself, it was also important when the opponent is missing a little bit and is losing her streak, you keep up the intensity for every point. That's why I was really on fire when it was 6-2, 5-0. I wanted to win every point. It's very important for the intensity for every point.

Q. Speaking of your career, when you decided you would become a pro, I think you said your father got upset.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah. Well, my father, he wanted me to do something serious with my life (laughter). After I finished school, I was quite good in school and I had a few opportunities for taking some scholarships at good schools. So he wanted me to do that because he figured that would be the safer career for me.
But, well, I was quite stubborn in this case and I wanted to with my head through the wall. I made a compromise with him in the end. He gave me two years. I said, If I'm not in the top 50 by the end of two years, I'm going to stop. I was 49 after two years. So I was lucky (laughter).

Q. Can you talk about the semifinal matchup with Radwanska.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah. It's going to be a tough one. I don't have what you would call a good record. I'm 0-2 down. It's difficult. You know, she just plays so sneaky. I actually love watching her because she just plays so sneaky well. She knows everything to do with the ball. She has such a great touch. She plays the dropshot, she comes to the net. It's a pleasure watching her, not so much a pleasure playing her.
But, you know, the times I lost to her, I think I'm a much more stable player now than I was back then. So I hope I'm going to be able to put out a great fight.
She's definitely a great player. I think she was here in the finals last year, so she definitely knows what she's doing here. And I'm excited to play.

Q. Do you see Sloane in the top 20 or 30?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: I definitely see her in the top 30, for sure, with her talent. The thing is always talent is one thing, but work is another thing. I don't know her working -- how she's working, I don't know it. But I think the USTA has a great program and I think they have good coaches. They will definitely try to get the best out of her.
If she keeps working, she definitely has the talent to become a top-30 player. From then, you know, it's just a matter of experience and believing in yourself to go further. But I definitely believe so. I don't know if I'm a good judge, but we will see.

Q. Obviously your tennis is speaking for itself. Your dancing afterwards, did you give thought into that?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, it's just everybody's always asking me, Do you have a new dance? It's not that easy because first of all I have to win and second of all I need an inspiration. Sometimes the inspiration doesn't come up so I leave without a dance and everybody is disappointed.
But, yeah, it's just an inspiration kind of thing and it just comes naturally. Also I just do it when the crowd is -- when I feel like the crowd wants to see it. If they're, Okay, now just go, please leave, get out of our sight, then I just go (laughter).

Q. What did you think of Sloane's dance there in the second set after she won the game?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: I didn't see it. Man, why didn't I see it? What did she do? I didn't see it, unfortunately. But that's nice. I also loved Venus' dance last year at the US Open. She hit the ball in the crowd, then there was a little hip-hop tune. She was dancing. That was really cool.
Because some people ask me if I think it's disrespectful to the opponent. It has nothing to do with the opponent. It's just something for the audience, not something that has to do with the opponent. I don't think it's a relevant question at all.

Q. Is there any buzz among the players watching Serena come back, especially the way she played last week? Do you talk about that?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, I didn't talk to any other players, but I talked to my coach definitely. It's always impressive watching her. It doesn't matter if she was gone for 10 years, 2 months, just a day, it's always very impressive, her attitude. She just has this charisma on court.
She was my idol when I grew up. So for me it's always a pleasure watching her, especially now maybe being able playing her also. I just played her once, which was a great experience.
So, I mean, you know, women's tennis has changed. I still think she's one of the greatest players in history of tennis. But I also think she's going to have a much tougher time now than she had maybe five years ago because there are so many girls out there. I'm thinking of Azarenka, Kvitova, Maria Sharapova, who is playing again almost at her best, who are just believing in themselves so much. So I think it's going to be tough.
I think it's great for women's tennis we have all these great stars coming back now and, yeah, putting out a battle out there.

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