Tuesday was Germany Day down in Stuttgart, with the three German Muskerteers, Sabine Lisicki, Julia Goerges and Andrea Petkovic all taking to the court to play their first rounders in front of full crowds. All three won through.
First up was Julia Goerges. After going fown a break early in her match against Michaella Krajicek, she quickly broke back and went on to record an easy 6-3 6-1 win. I have so much love for Miss Gorgeous and her game. When she’s on, everything about her game just seems so effortless - her blistering serves, groundstokes and she’s also competent at the net to top it all off.
Sabine Lisicki was up next, and she too put on an impressive display to see off newly-crowned Queen of Class Dominika Cibulkova in straights. I think it’s safe to say the serve has returned, as she fired fown 14 aces en route, with only 2 DFs - the best Ace/DF ratio all year. However, what most impressed me was her fighting spirit in the match. Since her comeback, she has lost so many tight matches, dropping substantial leads and looking extremely fragile. It looked like it was all about to go horribly wrong again as she messed up on match point at *5-3 and promptly lost three games in a row, giving Cibulkova the chance to serve for the set. But instead of panicking, she composed herself, broke back and then served out the tiebreak without a care in the world.
Now can someone please get this woman a clothing sponsor please?
With all that said, the queen of German tennis, both on and off-court is still Andrea Petkovic. on court, the German number one was taken all the way to a third by a resurgent Tamira Paszek in an extremely high-quality match. For a set and a bit, Paszek dominated proceedings - her backhand pummeling ball after ball like nobody’s business, but the inevitable dip eventually came in set two and Petkovic lost control, never relinquishing it. From being a set and a break down, Petko lost a measly two games to close out the match, and everyone went home happy.
The presser afterwards was just like any other Petko presser. Even speaking in German and with the fact that I spent more time chatting up girls and what not in my six years of German lessons as opposed to actually, you know, learning the language, she just draws you in and forces you to listen and laugh. The questions eventually concluded, and as everyone was getting up to leave, I literally had to jump up and wave my arms in the air like a crazy person, shouting “English questions!!” to get attention. Petko replied “oooh, English” and to cut a long story short, our short exchange went something like this;
Me: You’ve obviously had a great 2011 so far. How different does it feel to be back in Germany, compared with 2010?
Petko: I felt the pressure, the expectations rising from the audience, from the media. But I think I handled it well in Fed Cup and now the only new problem was, you know, to redo it in a normal tournament situation only two days later. But I think I managed it quite well, and I’m happy that I won
Me: Do you feel like a superstar?
Petko: Like a superstar? (giggling) No. (laughter) I don’t feel like a superstar. In my town Darmstadt, when I walk through the city nobody ever talks to me - only one guy and he always tells me ‘you parked wrong’ (laughter).
Me: If you go back there now, it would be different though
Petko: “Yeah, maybe but.. No I’m still normal. I’m not Paris Hilton.(laughter)”
And that’s why so many people love this woman. She sure ain’t Paris Hilton - she’s just a down to earth, nice woman trying to make it in tennis. Lets hope that never changes.
(Pic via AP photo)