Petkovic Wins First Tour Title
Published July 26, 2009 03:22
BAD GASTEIN, Austria - Before this week she had won only three main draw matches in the big leagues, but in Bad Gastein Andrea Petkovic truly came alive, winning five in a row for her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title of any kind at the International-level Nürnberger Gastein Ladies.
Petkovic had been 3-8 lifetime in Tour-level events before coming to Bad Gastein this year, those three wins pushing her into the second round of majors at the 2007 French Open, 2007 US Open and 2009 Australian Open; something clicked for the unseeded German this week however, as she won all five of her matches, losing one set along the way, against No.7 Anna-Lena Groenefeld in the quarters, but winning the second and third sets anyway, 6-3 and 6-1.
Against fellow non-seed Ioana Raluca Olaru in the final she stormed out to a 5-0 lead and barely looked back, closing out the Romanian handily in an hour and 29 minutes, 62 63, for her first Tour title of any kind. In fact, she had never even been to the quarters of a Tour event before.
"I played very well in the first set. I was hitting hard and putting a lot of pressure on her with my serves and returns. In the second set I was fighting with myself because I thought I could really win this, and my nerves were a bit tough to deal with. But I'm happy I kept calm," Petkovic said. "I'm very happy. It's the best moment of my career. I hope I can keep playing like this and build on it."
Olaru had pulled off a string of upsets en route her own first singles final on the Tour, beating No.3 seed Sybille Bammer, No.6 seed Magdalena Rybarikova and No.1 seed Alizé Cornet. Her best singles showings before this week were a pair of semifinals in 2007; she had reached two doubles finals, winning one.
"I played better each match this week. I beat two Top 30 players this week, the best wins of my career. I'm sorry about today - I wish I could have done more, but there's always next tournament," Olaru said. "I want to improve and do better next time. This is a really nice tournament. I'll be back."
The No.3-seeded duo of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka beat Germans Petkovic and Tatjana Malek for the doubles title later on in the day, 62 64. Czechs Hlavackova and Hradecka won their third Tour title together, having prevailed last year in Prague and right here. Hradecka now has six Tour doubles titles to her name, Hlavackova four.