ANTWERP, Belgium - Before even taking the court for her quarterfinal match at the BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games on Friday night, it's already a week she'll always remember - Andrea Petkovic will break back into the Top 10 when the new WTA Rankings come out, a happy ending to what has been an absolute rollercoaster last few years for one of the most popular players on the tour.
Petkovic's first taste of the Top 10 came in 2011, a season highlighted by her first three Grand Slam quarterfinals at the Australian Open, French Open and US Open - she was the only player to reach the quarters or better at three of the four majors, actually. And her ranking was certainly rewarded for that kind of clutch play on the biggest of stages - she went as high as No.9 in the world that October.
The next year and a half was about as unfortunate as could be, though, as a series of injuries - back, ankle, knee - contributed to missing more than half of 2012 and the early months of 2013. In October 2012 - exactly a year after hitting that career-high No.9 - she fell as low as No.192 in the world.
But all the raw talent, hard work and fighting spirit kept Petkovic going. Brick by brick she built her comeback, getting back inside the Top 40 by the end of 2013 and, after winning three WTA titles and making her first Grand Slam semifinal at Roland Garros, finishing the 2014 season up at No.14.
And now, by virtue of the results at this week's BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games, Petkovic will finally return to her beloved Top 10, her first time in there since the Miami fortnight in 2012.
Petkovic got to the quarterfinals in Antwerp in style, too. Facing Alison Van Uytvanck in her opening match of the tournament on Wednesday, Petkovic had to fight off a whopping eight match points down a set and 6-5, eventually sneaking the second set out and going on to beat the Belgian wildcard and WTA Rising Star in three sets after a grueling three hours and 19 minutes, 6-7(7), 7-6(5), 6-2.
Starting on Monday, the 27-year-old German will be spending her 27th career week inside the Top 10, the first 26 weeks coming non-consecutively between August 8, 2011 and April 1, 2012.
The No.3-seeded Petkovic actually went on to win her quarterfinal match anyway, beating No.6 seed Dominika Cibulkova, 7-6(2), 6-0. The German was then asked about returning to the Top 10.