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Despite Defeat, Petkovic Revels in Rebirth

By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday September 1, 2021

Eight days from celebrating her 34th birthday, Andrea Petkovic is reveling in rebirth.

The 2011 US Open quarterfinalist fell to ninth-seeded
Garbine Muguruza 6-4, 6-2 in today's US Open second round.

More: Maxime Cressy Saves 4 Match Points to Shock Carreno Busta

While Petkovic was disappointed by the defeat, she was delighted by the experience.

Following her second-round Wimbledon loss to Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova, Petkovic's ranking dropped to No. 130. The owner of seven career titles briefly contemplated retirement.

Instead, Petkovic plugged into her passion, turned her season around and extended her career. Petrkovic has won 14 of her last 18 matches, including collecting her seventh career title earlier this month at the 250-level Cluj-Napoca tournament in Romania, to rise to No. 68 in the rankings.

"I have lost hope and I have lost positive vibes many times over my career, but I have never lost the passion for the game I think," said Petkovic, who turns 34 on September 9th. "I always told myself as long as I have this tingling sensation when I walk out on court and as long as I lose a match like today and go out and still think it was the greatest thing ever to be out there on Louis Armstrong and play these matches, I still want to play.

Tennis Express

"Obviously it helps when you get some wins in, as I did over the summer. I did have to fight really hard... I mean, after Wimbledon, I told my team, if I don't do well in the next few weeks I'm going to have to retire because I was ranked 140 and I was not going to continue to play challengers. So I guess a little pressure helped."

The buzz of playing against the best on the biggest stages continues to energize Petkovic.

"I played really well in the next few weeks, and I put myself back in a position that I'm ranked 60 in the world and I can play the biggest tournaments again," Petkovic said. "So that was really important for me.

"But just the gist I think of it all is this tingling feeling that I have when I walk out against the best on big stages, and that just gives me life. That gives me all happiness in the world. Yeah, and that's how long I will continue to play, as long as I have that."

Photo credit: Manuela Davies/USTA/US Open