Andrea Petkovic has another accolade to add to her six career WTA titles, but this one was earned off of the tennis court. The German player penned an essay for Racquet Magazine titled “Tennis vs. Tennis”, which was recognized by Longreads with a Notable Mention in Best American Sports Writing 2019 category. 

Petkovic joined the American indie band “Tennis” as they toured across the southwestern United States. During their travels, Petkovic recorded her musings on the nature of living on the road - both as a professional tennis player and as part of a rock band. She also photographed the experience in Polaroids accompanying the essay. 

"Just a few days ago I was a tennis player on vacation in Mexico, and now I’m a writer on tour with a band, carrying a Polaroid camera with me wherever we go, holding it up and in their faces in their most vulnerable moments, hoping to get something, hoping to see something real, something graspable, something explainable, something worth writing down," Petkovic wrote in 'Tennis vs. Tennis". 

The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction and nonfiction, according to Longreads.

Check out a short excerpt of Petkovic’s essay, “Tennis vs. Tennis”, and visit Longreads for more:

“When I exit the plane in Albuquerque, the first thing I see is space. So much space and so few people. I’ve come from New York, and the minute I step onto New Mexican soil everything feels like it’s in slow motion. I speak slower, my steps are grander, my breath deeper. The desert landscape is a stark contrast to the crowds that I have become accustomed to in the city, and the landscape resembles nothing we have at home in Germany.

I’m on my way to Sister Bar, where Tennis will be playing. Tennis, in this instance, is a band, and I will be touring New Mexico, Arizona, and California with them. In a bus. I am wearing a wide-brimmed black hat and a faux leopard fur coat, despite the 90-degree heat. Perhaps I’ve overthought my Rock Tour Ensemble because I’m feeling uncharacteristically self-aware about being thrown into this alternate reality. In my real life, I am a tennis player. Full-time. How should I know what’s cool these days?”

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