NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - The comeback tournament of Andrea Petkovic came to an end on Wednesday afternoon, as the former Top 10 player was stopped by Top 10 hopeful Dominika Cibulkova in their second round match, 64 61.
The No.6-seeded Cibulkova used some pinpoint crosscourt forehands to wrestle control of the match from 4-all in the first set, winning eight of the next nine games to beat a somewhat erratic Petkovic, who is a former World No.9.
"I'd play three or four good shots then miss horrible shots I'd never miss in a hundred years," Petkovic said. "My strokes and movement are just fine, but you can never simulate a match in practice, so when the stress of a match comes I feel like it's a totally new situation. And I've basically been out for eight months, so really the inconsistency in rallies and matches is the price I'm paying.
"Five or six years ago it was the same thing. I was out eight months for my ACL and when I came back, I'd play a few good matches then lose horrible ones.
"I just have to stay positive. It's going to take time to get back to my best."
Petkovic talked about her goals for the rest of the season. "My only goals right now are to stay healthy, find my rhythm again and get rid of this inconsistency I'm having. At this point I just have to accept it's the worst year of my career so far, but then the positive about this is next year I'll have no points to defend.
"I'm also quite satisfied because I didn't break my neck this week!"
Next for Cibulkova is No.3 seed Caroline Wozniacki, a 76(4) 62 winner over Sofia Arvidsson. Wozniacki leads Cibulkova in their head-to-head series, 7-3, and is also a perfect 19-0 lifetime at the New Haven Open at Yale.
"We know each other really well," Cibulkova said of Wozniacki. "She's a year younger but we travelled to all the same junior tournaments and played many matches against each other. I know the way she's playing, and she knows how I'm playing. It's two different styles as well - she's the defensive player and I'm the offensive player going for my shots. It's going to be a really good match."
Other winners were No.2 seed Petra Kvitova, who beat American qualifier Nicole Gibbs at night, 62 64; and No.8 seed Lucie Safarova, who won 10 straight games from 4-2 down in the first set to beat Zheng Jie, 64 60.