Petkovic pens dream Roland Garros return by reaching quarters

Mon Jun 2, 2014 9:35am EDT
 
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By Pritha Sarkar

PARIS (Reuters) - Andrea Petkovic's decision to hold off trading in her tennis racket for a career in journalism paid off on Monday as she reached a grand slam quarter-final for the first time in three years with a 1-6 6-2 7-5 win over Dutch qualifier Kiki Bertens.

Hobbled by back, ankle and knee injuries that forced her out of the tour for several months over the past two years, the 27-year-old German considered quitting tennis in 2013 to try her luck as a magazine journalist - and even successfully applied for internships.

But the player who enjoys writing blogs during her spare time could not switch off the lure of returning to the courts and her perseverance to regain full fitness paid off on Monday.

"One year ago... I was very close to quitting... just I didn't like playing anymore. I hated it," Petkovic, whose ranking plummeted to 177 last March, told reporters.

"When I came back from my injuries, my footwork was off, my strokes were bad. My serve was bad. I hated it. That's why I wanted to stop.

"(But) my life and destiny still wants me to play tennis ... and right now the only thing that I care about is tennis.

"I do have a lot of interests besides tennis, but nothing really gets my passion so far. I'm I think at the place where I need to be right now. And now I'm here and it's a nice reward."

Having missed the claycourt major for the past two years, 28th seed Petkovic spent Sunday "stalking" Bertens on YouTube for the whole day and that ploy enabled her to survive the fierce onslaught of the Dutchwoman's groundstrokes.   Continued...

 
Andrea Petkovic of Germany reacts after winning her women's singles match against Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 2, 2014.      REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier