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August 10, 2011

Andrea Petkovic


6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So that was a pretty long match out there for the two sets. I think some crazy amount of deuces. How do you deal with such a long match?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Oh, actually I felt awful today on the court, because it was really windy, and the second sets were not the easiest one. Also playing on the outside court without the Hawk-Eye, which was sometimes interesting, because Greta plays really fast and she serves really fast, so sometimes it's not easy to see the balls.
I needed to get used to it. But I think the most important part was that I stayed calm throughout the whole match, even though I was really maybe 15% of my normal play and I felt awful. But I managed to stay calm, and mentally I was at 100% intensity all the time, and I think that was the difference.
But it was just a few points. It could have gone exactly the other way, so I'm quite happy that I won.

Q. You probably know each other really well, too. Did that come into play for such a long match, also knowing what the other girl does?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah. Well, actually I never played her in matches before, but obviously I know her for a long time. We played for the same team, for the Fed Cup in Germany, so I have known her for what, now? Five or six years?
So, yeah, it was -- you know, it's never easy when you know somebody really well. It can be a very good match or a very bad match. Ours was like parts of some and parts of the other, but yeah, I'm happy I'm through.

Q. I think I saw you on the practice court afterwards. Was that because you weren't happy with how you were hitting?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah. Sometimes, you know, when I tighten up during the match I like to go out and hit some balls, and so I hit another maybe 200, 300 balls, and now I feel fine.

Q. Just a general type of question. How much of your game do you feel like is natural talent and how much of it is hard work?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Just in general? Well, I think that if you have natural talent and you don't work that you cannot achieve anything, and I also think if you don't have so much talent but work very hard you can achieve something. If you have both, it's very good. (Laughter.)
But I really feel like, you know, I'm definitely somebody who works really hard and who works many hours and who needs that to feel good out there on the court.
I just think that even if you are the biggest talent in the world, to get the consistency with those kind of players who we have today, which are great players, I think it's one of the greatest times for women's tennis. Also for men's tennis. With those players that are around, you need to work really hard to have the consistency to compete with them.
It doesn't matter how much talent you have. I think most of -- I think in earlier times it was not like this. I think only a few players were working really hard, but now everybody really knows what they have to do to step out there and be able to compete.
That's why, I think, women's tennis is getting so much closer to each other and so much stronger, also.

Q. When you first started playing tennis, did it come very naturally to you?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, actually, I had a really strange career, because I didn't play tennis professionally until I was 19, which is quite a change for girls.
Until I was 19 I played two or three times a week almost like a hobby player. But I was always -- you know, I always played the way I played. I always was hitting the ball hard. And if I managed to hit it in the court three or four times in a row, I probably would have won. If not, I probably would have lost.
So I was winning against some players who were there, you know, practicing since they are 14 being out there on the professional tour and I was winning against them on a good day. So I figured, okay, if I get more consistent I can beat them, you know, consistently and not only on a good day.
That's why I decided to try it professionally. I had to deal with my father. If I'm not in the top 50 after two years, I'm gonna quit. After two years I was 49, which was lucky, also. But, yeah, it always came -- you know, I think my greatest talent that I have is that I'm a competitor in everything. It doesn't matter if it's tennis or reading a book or -- I don't know.
In school, I always wanted to be the best, and that's sometimes more important than how you feel the ball. But sometimes I feel the ball.

Q. There are a few of you like that actually these days, it seems. Like Kvitova, for example, said she didn't really start playing until she was 16.

Q. Petra Kvitova.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Oh, yeah, yeah, exactly. She was going a little bit the same career like I did, because we were always at the same -- not at the same level, but we were always there. And I remember her. I remember when she was like -- normally you know the girls when they are 17, 16.
She was there but not really, you know, playing. And then all of a sudden when she started really practicing hard she was playing some great tennis.

Q. So it's still important to have the natural talent, then?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Probably. I guess. You know, it's both. All the girls who are there are so talented. And the nice thing is that everybody has something different. Everybody has a talent for something else.
Ana has an incredible talent for forehand and serve. Vika Azarenka has the most talent for backhand I ever saw in my life. Serena has talent for everything. Everybody has something special. That makes it so much more interesting, I think.

Q. You mentioned on your Twitter last week that you fell in love with a Canadian director, Xavier Dolan.

Q. Is that part of your routine, to watch a movie from the country you are going in?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: No, it was a coincidence. Actually, it was so funny when I came here, because right before I came to the States, I watched Arcade Fire live. I saw them live in concert. I was blown away.
And two days later I read this article -- in Germany he's not very well known -- I just read this article about Cannes and about his movie, and I was like, I have to see this movie. And his story, with, you know, with her mother and leaving home and making a movie with 17 years old.
So I went -- it was so tough to find this movie. I had to go like one-and-a-half hours in the Internet, and I had to travel one hour to go to see that movie in Frankfurt. So it was really hard work to get this movie. I was also blown away.
I came here. I'm like, I'm actually -- I'm going to put something on Twitter tonight. You're gonna like it, I think. I'm quite Canadian at this time of the year.

Q. Have you had a chance to try the beer?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: No, not yet. I'm waiting until after the tournament.

Q. As you were saying, so many players right now in the women's game can just come through. Anybody can win. How does that affect you mentally in terms of sort of both feeling like there are no limits but also sort of every round is very dangerous?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah, it makes it -- on the one hand it makes it so much tougher, because you don't -- you know, you don't have these easy rounds anymore in the beginning.
I remember Steffi, they didn't even, you know, care about the first four rounds. I'd talk to the reporters. They were like, We didn't even go. We looked at the time and wrote if it's under an hour or under 30 minutes, you know.
This just doesn't exist anymore. That makes it also much tougher for a woman to dominate right now, because she has to go, in a slam she has to go through tough matches every match, every match.
So it takes much more energy than it used to before, which makes it much tougher. But on the other hand, you know, you don't go on the court and you feel like, okay, I don't have a chance.
You always go on the court. You know that when you play bad, you're probably going to lose, but you know when you play well, you always have the chance to win. That makes it so much more interesting, and, yeah, appealing. It also gives, I think, most of the players -- that's why it's getting so much better. It's giving them more motivation to work, because they are like, Okay, I can win this. I'm there and I'm, you know, mingling with the big ones, and I have my chances to go deep in the Grand Slam.
I think that gives us the motivation to work even harder, and that's what makes women's tennis so much better now.

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