Twelve months ago, Petkovic fell in qualifying for Roland Garros, prompting her to think seriously about packing it all in. Soon after this crisis of confidence, though, the tide began to turn and she returned to the French capital back inside the Top 30 and with a spring in her step.
The Turning Point
With the big names falling like dominoes in her quarter, Petkovic had not met a seed en route to the last eight, but she showed no signs of being overawed by the occasion, recovering from an early break to take the first set at a canter.
The players' arrival on court had been delayed for nearly three hours by heavy rain and the Italian struggled in the heavy, blustery conditions. Her serve was particularly vulnerable and despite breaking twice at the start of the second set, she could not shake off Petkovic.
After halting a run of four straight breaks to hold for 3-2, the German cracked a down-the-line winner to get her nose in front. She was in no mood to hand back the initiative, closing out a 6-2, 6-2 victory soon after with yet another break.
"I had a very good game plan from my coach. It didn't work right at the beginning, so I was getting a little not panicked, but, you know, maybe a little worried," Petkovic said. "But, I trust my coach a great deal, so I told myself, 'Stick with it for this set. If it doesn't work out, you can still change something. If it works out, then keep going.'
"Luckily, I started playing better and started winning. I was trying to be very aggressive on her serve and to get into the net and just make pressure visually on her. I was hoping that her serve might break down if I was being very, very aggressive, and I think it did. So that was one part of the game plan that worked out very well."