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August 9, 2011

Andrea Petkovic


A. PETKOVIC/E. Bouchard
6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. After trading breaks early in the first set, you took control of the match, basically. What changed?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, you know, with these young players -- I played Sloane Stephens last week also, and it's a tough battle. It was also the same, almost. It's a very tough battle in the beginning.
And then somehow, you know, they drop in intensity, because they are not used to playing these matches on this level all the time. They are normally playing challengers.
But it's not a matter, you know, of strokes or of talent. I think she has it all. It's just a matter of, you know, playing these matches on this level all the time every week, every day. I think that's just the difference.
Then when she, you know, took up her intensity, it was already too late, but it's -- I don't think there is like a huge difference, you know.

Q. Can you comment on how you were feeling at the beginning of the first set? Looked like you were grabbing your thigh or something.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah, I have been struggling a little bit with my body after -- I was sick in San Diego. I had a virus, and I'm a little bit struggling. The muscles, they feel drained and really tired.
So when I jumped for one serve, I pulled a little bit my muscle, I think. But it's nothing, you know, it's nothing serious. It's just the normal things when you play a lot of matches that a tennis player has to go through.
But, yeah, that's all.

Q. Was the virus last week just an ordinary stomach virus?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: It was a stomach virus, yeah.

Q. Are you still feeling it?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, it's just a matter -- I was sharing room with my sister back in San Diego and she also had it. It's just a virus that was for two days, and I felt terrible the two days.
But now I feel much better. It's just -- you know, I lost a lot of energy through all the, yeah, energy loss. Now I just have to regain it. I try to eat a lot, but my stomach is still a little bit irritated. So I cannot eat big portions, so I just have to eat many times a day. I'm still struggling a little bit, but it's not -- as I said, I feel fine. I just need some time to recover fully again.

Q. Did you ever figure out what it was? Something that you...
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, at first I thought it was food poisoning from the food there, because Agnieszka, I played her in the semis, she told me that she also didn't feel so well. But now I think it was just some kind of virus that was going around there, because it was a closed resort, because my sister also had it and Aga didn't feel so well.
So I think it was some kind of two days' virus that went around. Yeah, it was bad luck, but better now than at the US Open, so I think it's okay.

Q. How much are these warmups at the US Open going to play a role into how well you actually play there?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, it's always important to come to the Grand Slams with a lot of confidence. For example, the French Open I played quarters, and right before I won the tournament in Strasbourg.
It's just a matter of, you know, feeling well, feeling the balls, feeling the surface, and it's a balance, you know. You have to try to play as well as possible but also balance it with not playing too much, so that's why I don't play -- right before the US Open, I don't play a tournament. It's a balance of trying to win as many match as possible, but also recovering to be 100% at the US Open.
But I think I have a good schedule, and, yeah, I hope it's gonna go on well.

Q. You mentioned played Sloane last week. And now Eugenie this week. How do you compare the two? When you sort of have a young player coming up, what are the things that tell you whether or not she's going to be good?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, you know, it's just -- I always compare to myself when I was 17. I was also -- you know, when you are young, sometimes in the juniors you win a lot of matches by just, you know, putting a lot of balls in, just putting more balls in than the others.
But when I was young, I was always trying to go for it. I might have lost matches that I shouldn't have lost, but I always said, you know, I had a good attitude, I wanted to win every match, and I wanted to win it by myself. I didn't want to get it -- I didn't want to take it from the other one because the other one was playing bad.
I felt with Sloane also and with Eugenie today, I just feel they were courageous out on the court. They had the right attitude. She stayed positive, as positive as she could, even though she lost, I don't know, 10 or 11 games in a row. She stayed positive.
And both, also Sloane, she had a very good attitude, and I think that's sometimes more important than the technique on court.
But also they have, you know, strong balls. With 17, 18, 19, to have such strong balls it's already, you know, a good sign of, yeah, talent.

Q. I assume you have a top 10 goal for this year, to get into the top 10. How are you going to get there? You're getting so close now.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, I am in the top 10 already. I am 10.

Q. Sorry, for the top 8 for the WTA...
ANDREA PETKOVIC: For the Championships?
Yeah, it's really tough. At the beginning of the year, my goal was to be top 20 by the end of the year, and now it's August and I'm top 10. So I already surpassed my goals for the year, actually.
But of course I think I'm 10th or 11th in the race. So of course that would be a dream come true. But it's really tough, because Petra Kvitova, Marion Bartoli are right in front of me. They are really -- they have a lot of points more than I have.
So I really have to be focused now on each and every tournament trying to play well and try to surpass them. It's gonna be really, really tough, but I'm gonna try my best, try to keep up the intensity and improve, and sooner or later it will come.
If it's this year or not, I don't know. But I really hope so, because every year I played the tournament Istanbul and I enjoyed myself so much. So I really hope I can make it until the end of the year.

Q. When you hit top 10 this week, did it feel like a big milestone?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah, it was a strange feeling, you know. Because they already told me the week before that I'm gonna be top 10 because Sam lost some points, Stosur, she lost some points. It was a good feeling.
But on the other hand, I felt a little pressure in San Diego, I have to say, in Carlsbad, because I didn't want to go in the top 10, you know, just because somebody handed it to me.
So I really felt like I have to play well, and after I reached the semis I felt much better. Unfortunately we didn't have any time to celebrate, but I think after Cincinnati I have a week off. I'm gonna grab a beer with my coach and that's gonna be it. Unfortunately not here, because I hear you have really good beer here in Canada. That's okay. I will come back.

Q. What did you do to kill time during the rain delay?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Oh, well, I bought an iPad and I have like 10,000 books on the iPad. So I just skip between five or ten books, I had a little nap, and that was actually -- I'm still a little bit caught in the time difference with Carlsbad, which is three hours early, right?
So I was still -- you know, I had to wake up at 7:00 because I thought I'm gonna play at 11:00, so the first three or four hours I was not really there. So that was okay. It went by really fast.

Q. One of the things I've always admired about you is that you seem to let pressure rub off your back. When I saw you in Miami I loved when you did the Petko Dance and a few other things. But I want to ask you on a more serious level, now that you're in the top 10, I want to know, in Germany, the expectations are for you to be another Steffi Graf. And coming from a country that had both Boris Becker and Steffi Graf, are you hounded by the German media when you're going to be No. 1 in the world?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah, they have high expectations, you know, but first of all, it made my life much easier that we have now two other really, really good players with Julia and Sabine who are playing great tennis and who are still also at the beginning of their road.
So that makes it much easier for me, you know, not being the only one. After Miami I had big trouble because I was the only one in the focus. Julia and Sabine hadn't played so well until then. So it was a lot of pressure I wasn't used to.
Now, with Julia and Sabine, the life is much easier because it's somehow, you know, the pressure is on three backs so it's much easier.
And on the other hand, I'm quite -- you know, I'm quite, how do you say? I'm quite well aware of my personality and my character. I know that I'm never going to be a Steffi Graf, just because we are so different.
And I also think I have very high expectations on myself. So I think it's okay that your country has the high expectations if you have the high expectations the same.
I also have high expectations to Germany, so they can have high expectations on myself.

Q. What were you reading earlier?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, right now I'm reading the Thoughts of Roman Emperor, Marc Aurelius. Do you know that? It's philosophy.
Doesn't help at all. Shouldn't read it before a match, but I try. (Laughter.)

Q. You're playing doubles with Ana again this week?

Q. Looks like she's starting to play better and find some consistent form. Is that something you sense playing alongside her?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah, definitely. I actually practiced with her a couple of times in Carlsbad, and we had some good hits. I just feel, you know, she feels much safer around her new coaching, you know, the coaching changes she has.
I feel like she's much more stable now. I think she feels really, really well with Nigel and Scott, and so I had a good feeling and good vibe in the team already when we were practicing. And then she played semis as well in Carlsbad, and we were chatting a lot. She's very relaxed right now.
So I think she's gonna do well here in the hard court season for sure.

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