Petkovic Prevails In Strasbourg, Into Top 12
Published May 21, 2011 12:00
STRASBOURG, France - Although it didn't really come the way she wanted, Andrea Petkovic won her second career WTA title and booked a new career-high ranking on the eve of the French Open, beating French No.1 Marion Bartoli via retirement in the final of the Internationaux de Strasbourg.
For the first time in nine years the Top 2 seeds made it to the final of the International-level tournament, and No.1 seed Bartoli did it in lightning-fast fashion, losing just 11 games in three matches; Petkovic, the No.2 seed, had straight set wins in her first three matches but needed almost three hours to get past No.6 seed Daniela Hantuchova in the semifinals, 6-4 in the third.
With a smoother path to the final, Bartoli looked fresher at the start of the title match, winning the first two games to lead 2-0. But the momentum began shifting and soon Petkovic won the first set and the first game of the second set; up 64 10, the German won the title when Bartoli retired with a left thigh injury.
"It's always a strange feeling when someone retires because you feel happy and sad at the same time," Petkovic said. "I'm happy to win the title and the points - we're all in a rush for points during the year! But I was sad to end there because I was playing really well. I also feel sad for Marion - I really like her, she's a really nice girl. I had a bad injury in 2008 so I know how it feels."
Petkovic is now 2-2 in WTA finals, her first title also coming at an International-level clay court event, Bad Gastein in 2009. Bartoli fell to 5-8 in WTA finals.
"I'm glad I made the decision to come here," Petkovic added. "I wasn't playing well in Madrid or Rome, but I've gained a lot of confidence from this week. I've played five matches here and I feel more than ready for Roland Garros."
By virtue of this week's results, Petkovic will rise from No.15 to a new career-high of No.12 on the new rankings, while Bartoli will remain at No.11.
"I felt it right away, but after 2-0 it increased a lot," Bartoli said of the injury. "I called the trainer at 4-5 but even with that it wasn't improving at all."
Bartoli, her country's No.1 player, was asked about the upcoming French Open. "Well, the time for recovery is really short, just one day after tomorrow, because I am playing on Monday. I'd say it's time to pray for a miracle. But I guess having a dad as a doctor is very helpful. He is the most important person for me to talk to and find out if I can play. Hopefully I can get through my first match on Monday, just fight through it, and then I can hope for another day of recovery and hopefully I'll be alright to continue after that."
In their third tournament together, Akgul Amanmuradova and Chuang Chia-Jung captured the doubles title, beating No.2 seeds Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova in the final, 64 57 102. The winning pair had played twice in February 2009, reaching the semifinals of Pattaya City and the quarterfinals of Dubai. Amanmuradova won her second WTA doubles title, Chuang her 16th.