LINZ, Austria - Andrea Petkovic came back from the brink to score her second Top 10 victory of the year, saving match points to stun No.1 seed Julia Goerges in the first round of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz.
Goerges came into Linz looking to regain her rhythm as she reenters the most successful stretch of her 2017 season, which saw her lift trophies in Moscow and the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai.
But she ran up against an inspired wildcard Petkovic, a former Top 10 player now ranked World No.82, who turned around a 6-1, 4-1 deficit and saved match points to score a 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 stunner over her fellow German and Fed Cup teammate.
Goerges dropped just one point on her serve during the first set, notching a service masterclass that kept Petkovic out of the contest. Goerges needed three breaks to seal the set in just 21 minutes, keeping the rallies short and finishing points with her powerful groundstrokes.
She stayed perfect at the start of the second, breaking early to lead 3-0 and consolidated to extend the advantage to 4-1 when Petkovic started to mount a comeback. Petkovic’s dogged defense kept Goerges playing one more ball, and drawing out the unforced errors as a result.
But still, despite Petkovic grabbing the break back at 4-3 to get them back on serve, Goerges still kept her nose in front, even creating a match point at 5-4 on Petkovic’s serve. The German wildcard fought it off, and turned the tables with break in the next game to send them into a decider.
The third set featured a rollercoaster 11 break opportunities as both players wrestled for the momentum: Petkovic started with a lead at 2-1, but Goerges broke straight back and saved four Petkovic chances to keep her nose in front at 3-2. But Petkovic was relentless, and she capitalized on her next chance to earn the decisive break 5-4, reeling off the last three games in a row to seal the upset.
Earlier in the season, Petkovic scored her first Top 10 win in over two years when she stunned World No.3 Sloane Stephens en route to the Washington DC semifinals - a result she backed up with another semifinal in Guangzhou. Now, the former World No.9 is showing flashes of vintage form to rack up another huge win-by-ranking with her win over Goerges.
Up next, Petkovic will face even more German opposition as she takes on Tatjana Maria in the second round. Maria also mounted a comeback to defeat Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.
More to follow...