DUBAI, UAE - To go along with the WTA's new marketing campaign, Power To Inspire, this year we at wtatennis.com want you to tell us just how powerful and inspirational the stars of the WTA are.
This week we asked you to tell us how Andrea Petkovic inspires you. Once ranked as high as No.9, the German suffered a series of devastating injuries in 2012 and 2013 that pushed her as far down as No.192 - but she never threw in the towel, and this week, after a 12-month period that has seen her capture four WTA titles and reach her first Grand Slam semifinal, she's finally back in the Top 10.
We said we'd publish your 10 best #PowerToInspire responses on Friday, but here's 20:
Andrea has taught me to never give up no matter how dark things may seem. No matter the journey, the hardship, or the uphill battle, there is always hope. She's made us laugh, made us cry, and made us jump in triumph. She is the best fighter and the hardest worker on tour. From 9 in the world, down to 192, and now all the way back up again; she is something truly special. She's inspired me and so many others to be the best that they could be!
I am an amateur tennis player coming back from an injury, and Andrea Petkovic inspires me to believe in the possibility of a full recovery. The story of her injury and road back to competition, along with the success that she has earned there, give me an extra push to work hard with my physical therapy. Seeing clips of her playing, or even her picture, helps me stay on track. Knowing that she recovered gives me hope to do so as well.
Well it's a simple one to describe what inspiration Andrea Perkovic gives me. Never stop believing in yourself. Always keeping the fight up. She was my inspiration to keep fighting when I had a knee injury last year. When I thought of her way of handling injuries, I was able to keep calm and believe in my rehab. She also reminds to always enjoy my sport because what's the point of sporting without enjoying it? Andrea Petkovic is simply said my inspiration.
Andrea has been one of the most entertaining WTA stars to watch. Her relentless fighting spirit should be admired. Her passion for the game shows on and off court. Who would not enjoy watching her? I'm personally overwhelmed by her matches, especially the last couple of weeks she has been playing unbelievable tennis. She is definitely one of the WTA stars on top of my list!
Recovering from injuries, Andrea Petkovic's biggest #PowertoInspire is her passion. Her fire on the court and dedication to the game and competition is just so evident when she is playing and so inspiring to watch. Andrea's passion combined with her perseverance and mental strength has led her back to the Top 10 and is just simply impressive. Congrats Andrea!
PetkoPower, PetkoFight, PetkoSpirit, PetkoFun, PetkoRespect, PetkoWe?U
There are definitely many great WTA tennis players, but where Andrea really stands out is attitude towards the sport and its competitors. Most of the successful girls obviously despise losing and seem to be mainly driven by their ambition. But especially during hard losses you see the real personality. Andrea is a huge fighter and can be hilarious in victory. But she is also very gracious in defeat and she never seems to lose her friendly and humorous attitude towards her opponents and herself. I absolutely adore Andrea for these "stand-alone" qualities, which show the real Champion she is.
~ Holger, Germany
Perhaps what makes Petko unique is that she maintains a healthy relationship with her fellow players, fans, and even members of the media, in spite being in the upper echelon of the WTA hierarchy for quite some time. Win or lose, she has shown that she's a good sport by aptly radiating fairness and camaraderie. She definitely has the #PowerToInspire tennis' younger generations.
~ Percival, Philippines
Petkovic has greatly inspired me as a junior tennis player and a person. With a dream of competing in professional tennis, Petkovic has continuously inspired me to persevere despite the challenges or setbacks that may be encountered. After being plagued with injuries, her remarkable journey back to form saw an extraordinary comeback with title wins, and a return to Top 10 this year. Her fighting spirit is a constant reminder for me that nothing is impossible and to never give up. Off-court, she is good humoured, humble towards her colleagues, and is always willing to devote time for fans.
As a man trying to raise the profile of women's sport, I would say Andrea Petkovic is my biggest inspiration. I've been a fan of hers since the first Petko Dance, as she shows young females that sport can be fun as well as competitive. Personalities like that can only encourage interest in the WTA tour. As a player, too, she's a great role model. I remember when she damaged her ankle in Stuttgart during her first comeback. It's been a long road full of setbacks but she hasn't given up. No one deserves that Top 10 return more than her.
When one thinks of Andrea Petkovic, the first thing that comes to mind is the Petko dance. In today's world tennis is not just about the game but also entertainment and Andrea Petkovic brings both of this on court when she plays. Her career has had almost as many ups and downs as a roller coaster because of those multiple injuries. Had it not been for that, she would have surely won a Slam or two. Nonetheless, she never let her injuries get the better of her and her determination, willpower and hard work got her back into the Top 10. And above all, she does it all with a smile. That's what is most inspiring about Andrea Petkovic.
The desire to get back to the top! After all those nasty injuries who would've thought she'd be back in the Top 10? Well, she did it!! But you can go higher Andrea, go get 'em!!!!
Andrea Petkovic has inspired me in a lot of ways with her determination to fight matches out. Her love for the sport with all those injuries to come back again and again and her smart play on the tennis court in working the points with precision and power. She also inspires me with her hard work off the court to keep in shape and her lovely nature towards her fans. She is proud of her country and also represents her flag proudly and thats why Andrea Petkovic inspires me to be the best I can try to be.
What's most inspiring and remarkable to me is that Andrea Petkovic unites all these three things in one person - the "never-give-up" attitude, the desire to achieve big wins again, and her fine sense of humour. And I think it's especially in her Fed Cup performances where these qualities, in addition with her absolute commitment to the team, stand out - no matter whether she is nominated for the team or joins her teammates as their self-proclaimed "Edelfan" (V.I.P. fan) like in 2012 and 2013. Last but not least, let's not forget her various social involvements, of course.
~ Tennis Baronin
There are several different reasons that I have been inspired by Andrea Petkovic. First of all she is beautiful. I have always enjoyed her outgoing demeanor on the court. Also, I love to dance and that's what has drawn me to her. But moreover, it is extremely hard, mentally, emotionally and physically to come back from an injury. Her drive and determination is amazing and I knew it would only be a matter of time before she was back in the Top 10. Maybe I'll use her drive to open my own tennis academy for the impoverished youth one day.
I started following Andrea Petkovic in 2010 while nursing an Achilles tendon rupture, which forced me to work from home for several months. I had not followed tennis since the early '90s but found myself longing for a live sport to watch while cooped up in my home. I was immediately drawn to Andrea Petkovic's will to succeed and started following her every match. While my knowledge of tennis was minimal at best, I was inspired by Andrea's work effort and determination. In the early years I watched her sacrifice her body play after play, and push through injuries that would have sidelined most players. I'll never forget the excitement I felt for her as she broke the Top 10 for the first time, and by this time my entire family (wife and four daughters) had become huge Petkorazzi fans. We were using her successes as daily inspiration for us in our own individual lives and using the Petkorazzi videos to help us learn how to laugh at ourselves and not take things so seriously.
Petko is back in the Top 10 and playing better than ever amidst all the obstacles she has had to endure. Andrea's ability to overcome has inspired our daughters to overcome their obstacles and accomplish great things. My oldest daughter has become a Collegiate All-American lacrosse player and my second daughter is a freshman high school D-1 basketball prospect. My two youngest daughters mostly like Andrea "Pufflefish" (they can't quite say her name correctly) for her funny videos. Not too late to put a tennis racket in their hands though. #TeamPetko!
Andrea Petkovic is my biggest inspiration and my hero! I found out I was going to lose my job of 14 years last March and it was the most horrible experience ever. I spent many a day crying but then as I watched Andrea win Charleston I started to realize that if she can pick herself up and work her way back to the top, then so can I. If she can fight fate, then so can I. Her never give up attitude and her desire to be the best is what inspires me!
Andrea inspires me in a special way, and you can not not love her. In many ways, especially for her character and for her spirit, she's very similar to me. I do not know how to explain it, but she moves me at all times. Seeing her on the court, and the thought of her makes me happy. I know what it means to overcome the difficulties, and that's why her story touches me deeply. Her fighting spirit is her real strength! She deserves a return to the top and this is a wonderful lesson in life that trandscends tennis.
~ Mary, Italy
Andrea is an especially beautiful person not only externally, but mainly inside. I wish her a lot, a lot of health and that she can fulfill all her dreams and desires in life!
~ Alan, Czech Republic
For me Andrea Petkovic is one of the best tennis players in the world. Her fighting spirit and sense of humor are well-known all over the world. She is great player. Her forehand is very powerful and beautiful. She is also one of the best defensive players in WTA tour. I love her sense of humor the most. I remember her "Petko dance" after she won every match. It was beautiful to see her really happy after all the matches she won. With her sense of humor and fighting spirit she can inspire a lot of young players all over the world.