Update 4:10 pm. Charismatic second seed Andrea Petkovic has made it through to another quarterfinal at the Brisbane International, following an interesting 7-6(2) 6-0 hit-out against Czech workhorse Barbora Zahlavova Strycova at Pat Rafter Arena today.
Following up from a testing three-set win against Israel’s Shahar Peer on Monday, Petokovic started slow as Zahlavova Strycova looked to have the upper hand in the opening set, but holding on to the tiebreak, the talented German found her rhythm and ran away with an impressive 6-0 second-set win.
Struggling with an ongoing back injury that caused her trouble in her first-round match, Petkovic said it was a challenge to hold on to her serve today, but she was satisfied to get a win on centre court and is staying confident that it’s getting better every day.
“It was little bit unfortunate that I had to play today again first match, but on the other hand it was nice to play on centre, so I really appreciated that and hopefully I’m going to have a day off tomorrow and then I can get rid of the pain, because it’s bothering me on the serve. I cannot really get good pop,” Petkovic said.
“Right now from the baseline I feel very good. My movement is fine and my serve was fine also until this happened, so we will see what happens.”
After solid baseline rallies and challenging tennis, it took 29 minutes for the players to settle on 2-2 in the opening set, but it was the Czech who kept the pressure on with the majority of break-point opportunities.
When Petkovic got the break for a 5-3 lead, it seemed that the No.2 seed had got on top of the match, but Zahlavova Strycova refused to relent with crafty drop shots and impressive play to force the set to a tiebreak after one hour and 12 minutes of play.
But the set proved a must win for the Czech, with Petkovic snatching momentum in the 7-2 breaker and stepping up her game in the second set, finishing the much faster 6-0 second set with a slam dunk to the centre court crowd.
“She has all the shots, she has a lot of variety and she’s changing up the pace very good and she moves incredibly well, so playing one-dimensional is like the most stupid thing you could do and that’s what I did,” Petkovic said.
“But then my coach came out and he put my head on the right spot and I started trying to give her high balls, then change the rhythm and then play the fast shot, and I think that worked out better. But also it’s really tough to keep up the intensity after such a tough first set, so I think it was a little bit of both.”
Jumping 50 spots in two years to become No.10 on the WTA rankings—a goal she had set for herself—Petkovic is taking 2012 to reassess her tennis in a quest to reach new heights in her career, but she admits it may come at a cost.
“This is really a year for me to see if I can keep up with the higher expectations and if I can still improve my game and sort of just stay level headed and focus on myself,” she said.
“I’m trying to change up my paces a little bit and trying to get into the net more. I think I have to change those things if I want to be able to win the big titles, so right now I’m just taking my time to try to improve these things even if it might cost me some matches, which is not very easy but I think it’s going to be the right way to improve my tennis and to get there where I want to go.”
Petkovic now waits in the quarterfinals for the winner of the match between seventh seed Anastasia Pavlychenkova and Estonian Kaia Kanepi, who are set to play their second-round match tomorrow.
In other women’s matches, third seed Francesca Schiavone let slip a eight break-point opportunities but still managed to find a way past Galina Voskoboeva 6-4 6-4 in 86 minutes. The win moves Schiavone into the quarterfinals where she will play either sixth seed Jelena Jankovic or qualifier Nina Bratchikova.