Andrea Petkovic’s 2011 Australian Open victory against Maria Sharapova played a key role in the German rediscovering her love of tennis.
The 28-year-old admits she hated the sport at the end of the 2015 season.
She even contemplated disappearing into the melting pot of New York with nothing more than $100 in her pocket rather than head back on tour as she waited for a plane back to Europe.
Brought back from the brink, Petkovic said watching a replay of that Melbourne Park win over the five-time grand slam champion was one of the tools she used to remember what she enjoyed about tennis.
“That was one of the matches I used to try and remember when I was having fun and when I was really enjoying being out there,” she said.
“Everything that comes with tennis that I had lost in the past couple of months.”
Now committed to another year on tour, Petkovic made a winning start to her year on Sunday as she cruised into the second round of the Brisbane International with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Brazilian Teliana Pereira.
That victory means she faced a likely second round match against a familiar foe – defending event champion Sharapova.
The Russian will face Petkovic if she can overcome compatriot Ekaterina Makarova in her first round match later this week.
“It’s a great challenge for me,” Petkovic said.
“Those are the matches you want before a grand slam.”