Former top -10 Petkovic feels like ‘old self’ before Kooyong debutPosted on December 20, 2017
Andrea Petkovic is making significant gains towards the player she was at the end of the 2011 season, when the German was ranked ninth in the world and on the verge of making her maiden Grand Slam final.
That season saw the now 30-year-old make the semi-final at the French Open against Maria Sharapova after a quarter-final appearance at the Australian Open, before back and knee injuries spoiled the next two years.
Since returning to the top 10 in 2015 Petkovic’s form has been mixed, but the world No. 98 has been able to stay injury-free as she looks to again climb the WTA ranking tree with a hit-out at the 2018 Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic.
“My 2017 season has been up and down through most of the year, but I do think that in the end for the last few tournaments I kind of pulled it together,” Petkovic said.
“My tennis really rose to a new level and I left for my vacation with a good feeling in my stomach about 2018.
“The end of 2017 really made me hope for a good 2018. I think I played some good tennis and pushed a few excellent players to the edge and felt at times like my old self again back when I was in the top 10.
“So, I am very excited to see what’s waiting for me on the other side.”
The 30th anniversary of the traditional pre-Australian Open event will be held from Tuesday 9 – Friday 12 January. The tournament will also feature 17-year-old Australian Destanee Aiava and recent world No. 7 Belinda Bencic from Switzerland.
Petkovic, who has won six career WTA singles titles, will likely be joined by another star player that is yet to be confirmed in the second year of women playing at Kooyong, according to Tournament Director Peter Johnston.
Petkovic’s season produced highlights including a semi-final appearance in Washington, taking world No. 14 Julia Goerges from Spain to three sets, and a semi-final in Northern England against world No. 20 Magdalena Rybarikova.
“I think playing the Kooyong Classic is the perfect preparation leading up to the Australian Open,” Petkovic said.
“The distance is not too far (from Melbourne Park), you get the same courts, same balls and you are already in Melbourne and we all know the weather there can be specific.
“Plus, I am just very excited to play there for the first time, it always looked like so much fun for the guys in the previous years.
“I believe it’s so great to have these three matches to try out the last few things you have worked on in the pre-season, but I’m always very ambitious and naturally want to win as many matches as possible.”
The men’s draw is loaded with four top-10 players, led by defending two-time Kooyong champion David Goffin who made the final of the ATP Tour Finals in London after defeating Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
Those wins took the Belgian to number seven in the ATP rankings, just behind world No. 5 and 2017 Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic, and world No. 6 Dominic Thiem, who are also playing at Kooyong.
Pablo Carreno Busta from Spain is the fourth top-ten man in the Kooyong draw, which also features big-serving South African Kevin Anderson who comes to Melbourne not long after making the final of the US Open.
2018 Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic women’s draw:
|Player||Country||Age||WTA Ranking||Highest rank|
2018 Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic men’s draw:
|Pablo Carreno Busta||Spain||10|
|Kevin Anderson||South Africa||14|