After a couple of false dawns, Petkovic has finally started to put her recent injury ordeal behind. The exits of Li Na, Caroline Wozniacki and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova left Petkovic as the highest seed standing in her section and with a golden opportunity to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since 2011.
The Turning Point
Bertens came racing out of the blocks, marrying her powerful groundstrokes with some subtle touches to take the first set at a canter. However, she was unable to build on this momentum, Petkovic taking advantage of a couple of wayward service games to level up the match.
The decider ebbed and flowed as both players struggled to hold onto their serve. In the end, a couple of untimely backhand errors allowed Petkovic to get her nose in front at 6-5 before closing out a tight decider with a forehand winner following yet another punishing baseline exchange.
"It was super tough, because I didn't know her at all. I just stalked her on YouTube yesterday the whole day, and I was already impressed yesterday,'' Petkovic said. "I think she's going to be a force on the WTA when she gets fitter and recovers from her injuries that she's had.
"After going down 5-4 in the third, I just sort of told myself, 'Okay, listen, you have to play aggressive. You have to go for your shots, and nobody's going to give you a place in the quarterfinals just because you're nice, so go get it.' I started playing more aggressively and it paid off in the end.
"After all my injuries, it's been a very long time that I was out. You sort of forget a lot of things. Now it's a process. It's a process. I'm still not there where I want to be. It's a long way to go. Nowhere near the end."