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23/01/2011 14:40 CEST - AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Andrea Petkovic (23 Gennaio)

Andrea Petkovic

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Q. Quarterfinals at the Australian Open. Is in the best of your career?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: I wouldn't say it was the best of my career. It was definitely a very good one. But I've played good matches before. It wasn't on such a big stage so far. So it's probably the best match I played on such a big stage.
But, yeah, I'm very pleased, but I have to focus on my next match. The tournament is not over yet.

Q. About tonight's match, where did you think you beat Sharapova?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: I tried to mix it up a little bit, you know. Normally my game is to play very flat and aggressively, but I tried to give it some spin on the forehand and play some slice and mix up my serve. I tried to keep up the percentage of my first serve and tried to return very aggressively.
I think I played very well tactically wise. I have to say the last couple of games Maria played unbelievable. I didn't do anything wrong, and she just, yeah, showed the spirit of a great champion. I'm happy I closed it out in the end.

Q. Were you getting flashbacks to Roland Garros after you got broken the first time?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Not really. I got nervous, definitely, but not really flashbacks. I think I surpassed that after I beat Kuznetsova in Tokyo. There I had a flashback because it was very close also. It was 6 5, and I didn't use the first two or three match points.
That's when I got my flashback. But I think I am over it. I think I should be over it by now.

Q. Did you talk to your countrywoman Julia Goerges the other day about how that match went for her?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: I didn't really talk to her because I haven't seen her. She was playing doubles so I didn't really see her. But I talked to Barbara Rittner, who is our Fed Cup captain. She saw the whole match, and I saw the match myself. I just loved the way she approach the match playing very aggressively and taking the upper hand from the first point on.
So I knew if I want to have a chance I have to play very aggressively and try to lead the game. Because once Maria gets the upper hand in the match, it's just very tough to beat her.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about your dance? I know you already talked about the dance on the court, but how did you pick that kind of cool dancing move?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah, you think it's cool?

Q. Yeah.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, as I said, it started off as a bet with my coach. He had an idea after I played a terrible summer season in the U.S. and I got Nadia Petrova in the first round of the US Open, which was a tough draw for me back then.
So he said, If you win, you have to do something special because it's a special match for us. I won 7 6 in the third, so, yeah, I got the inspiration of doing a dance, and ever since it's there. I'm very superstitious, so since I'm doing the dance I'm playing much better. I try to keep it up: the playing better and the dance.

Q. Where has your improvement come from over the last year or two?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, I definitely think it's my fitness. I was already one of the girls that's best in shape. Now I think I really reached my limit in being in shape. I cannot be any better. I'm moving much better around the court and I get a lot of the balls back, which is tough for the girls to finish it off against me. They have to come to the net to really finish it off.
Just through the fitness I'm just mentally much stronger because I believe in myself. I feel very confident on court and I believe in my body. That's the key to my game.

Q. This is a very big break for a tournament and obviously for you, and there doesn't seem to be a hint nerves in you at all. Are you just doing a good job of hiding it, or are you just really enjoying it, opening yourself up and enjoying the whole experience?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, I'm a good actress. (Smiling.) But, no, I'm really enjoying myself. As I said, since I'm this much fitter, I just believe so much in my body. I believe that if I don't play well I can run every ball down and bring it back, and that gives you a lot of confidence.
Also in the last few months, I beat some top 20 players and I played some great matches. I think with the confidence comes the belief. There are people who just believe in themselves since they are being born, I think, and other people who need experience to believe in theirself. I am the second type. I need the experience.
Since I've won matches against some top 20 players and top 10 players, I just feel much more confident.

Q. Can talk a little bit about 2008 you stepped on court and your knee got torn up. Talk about the process of getting back and now your a quarterfinalist here.
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yes. It was a terrible and a very blessing experience for me at the same time. Back then, I wasn't so sure if tennis was my priority in life. I was quite good in school, so I was thinking of studying and just taking a career in those terms.
After my big injury here, I just felt, Okay, this is the thing I want to do. This is what I really love and what I want to spend my next six to seven years with.
I was six months in the mountains in rehabilitation center with no Internet, no TV TV, but public TV only. So I really committed myself to coming back. Since then, I believe in my body much more, as I said. I'm stronger.
So, yeah, it was like awakening. I really want to do that.


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