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25/01/2011 12:48 CEST - AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Andrea Petkovic (25 Gennaio)


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Q. Your first Grand Slam quarterfinal. What was the experience like?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, I certainly didn't play as well as the last matches, but it was a nice experience. I really enjoyed every minute of it. I think she played really well. I think she's going to win the tournament.

Q. You started the set well then fell away slightly. What happened?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, I just think that it wasn't my time of the day, you know. It was a little early for me, I have to admit. I lacked a little bit energy. I felt like I was not a hundred percent. But I have to say she played very deep and she didn't also give me so many chances. She didn't miss a lot.
In the second set, I was starting to feel a little better. I tried to mix it up a little bit more. I tried to mix it up a little bit more. I got a few chances, but it was very tough.
Maybe if I had a little more energy I would have gave her a better battle. But I think it would have been tough anyways.

Q. Was playing in Brisbane and coming to the final of Brisbane, coming here, have you played too many matches?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: No, that was not the case at all. I felt in good shape. It was just, you know, from Brisbane to here, I only played night session matches. Today was my first day session. I think it was just a new thing for me, you know, to play that early on in the day. But you have to get used to it as a tennis player, the change of times. That's normal.

Q. Why are you so confident about Li Na?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: You know, I haven't seen the other players. It's more a feeling. It's nothing that I can tell you her forehand is good or her backhand. It's just the feeling, how she is on court, her confidence and the way she's playing. I just feel she has a great chance to win the tournament.
I don't want to put pressure on her obviously. It's just a feeling. Sometimes you get the feeling during the match that somebody is really strong and just has that confidence going on, that aura maybe. Is this a word in English? Okay.

Q. She seemed to impose herself once she got on top of you. Did you feel that from the other end?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah, yeah. I just felt like, you know, in the beginning she was still maybe a little nervous or struggling. Once she got going, she was playing so well, just giving no chances, you know. Maybe if I get my chance and I make a great shot, it's easy to come back into the match. Not easy, but you have the chance to get back into the match.
But she was just giving no chances at all. She was serving well, no double faults, with a good speed. She was returning well. You know, she plays very deep, so it was tough. My footwork lacked a little energy, as I said.
I think overall she just played a great match. I've seen the other matches she's playing well consistently, so that's why I'm saying. It's just my thinking.

Q. What would you do differently? Tactically how would you change the match?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, in the beginning of the second set I started to mix it up a little bit. I started playing slice and high. You know, the problem is it's not my game at all. I didn't feel very comfortable doing it. I started missing, so I was not really sure. I think now that I know how she plays and I know she doesn't like it when you mix it up, I would prepare myself better before.
But I have never played her before. Uhm, I thought, okay, if I give her good power strokes, she's going to struggle. But obviously she didn't. She was very stable.
When I started mixing it up, I felt like she was missing more. As I said, it's not my game, so I was also struggling with those tactics.

Q. Were you having trouble serving at one end?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah, I think there is the sun on the one, I think it is a little bit against the wind. Yeah, it's just a little, little breeze. You almost don't feel it. But when someone is returning as well as Na Li and as deep as her, I was struggling, as I said, with my footwork. It's more my footwork than anything else. I wasn't ready on the first set. When somebody plays that deep, I was late all the time, so...

Q. How would you assess your start to the year and your goals going forward as a result of how you've gone thus far?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: I'm very pleased with the way my season started. I liked the way I played in Brisbane. I liked the way I played here. Even though the match wasn't perfect, I still feel I improved a lot over the last, yeah, past months, and also in the last matches I played here. I just gained a lot of confidence.
I think I'm also on the right path. It has been the beginning of my journey, not a middle or the end. That's why I feel very confident and looking forward.
I'm looking forward really to what the future brings.

Q. Can you tell which parts of Li Na's game is too strong to play?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, what is tough about her, she moves very well, she has a great footwork. She takes the ball very early. She plays flat and deep. When your own footwork isn't at your best, you start struggling, you start missing, you don't know why you're missing.
She has this sneaky aggressive play, I would call it. It's not like a big hitter like Maria Sharapova where you say, Okay, now she's going to smack the ball. It's more like sneaky aggressive. Yeah, my coach called her the Davydenko of women's tennis, which I find I don't know if it's fitting, but I think she's been playing very well, so...

Q. You have the confidence she can win the tournament, especially if she's going to play Wozniacki in the semis and also maybe Kim Clijsters in the finals?
ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, you know, I really believe so. I felt the power she was giving me today, that's why I said I really believe that she can win the tournament. Of course, there comes a lot of mental stuff into it, playing semifinals, finals of a Grand Slam.
I mean, she played semis. She didn't play a final yet, so there's going to be a lot of new experience for her. I think tennisly wise I don't think this is a word but I would say she definitely has the opportunity to win this tournament.

Q. (Question regarding Novak Djokovic being in Andrea's next yearbook.)
ANDREA PETKOVIC: It's going to be a surprise, but it's going to be very funny. I had a little idea. I asked him, because we are good friends since a long time, we are the same age, '87, so I know him since I'm 12 or 13. I asked him if he would do that. Actually for serious stuff you can never get him, but for fun stuff he's always the first one to join.
He was so funny that I actually started laughing during the video, which is not so perfect because we were supposed to be serious.
But I think it's going to be great. You should check it out.


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