ANTWERP, Belgium - Barbora Zahlavova Strycova has been getting better and better with experience, and she's now just one victory away from breaking into the world's Top 20 for the first time.
The Czech is through to the semifinals of a Premier-level event for the second time in her career - she made the Birmingham final last summer - and she was asked why she's playing so well here.
"Because it's a great tournament and there are great people around us," she said. "The atmosphere and organization is very good here, so maybe that's the reason I - and all of us - feel good here."
If Zahlavova Strycova wins her semifinal match Saturday, she'll crack the Top 20 for the first time.
"I was very happy with the first set. I think we both played great tennis," Petkovic said.
"We were returning very well - neither of us could hold serve, and I had so many set points and couldn't take any of them! I was really happy I was able to get through the match under two hours."
"It makes me feel so great because I've been struggling a lot with my injuries, and I never thought I would come back to the Top 10," Petkovic commented. "I proved to myself and anyone who doubted me that I could do it. I'm just very grateful for this second chance I got, and that I took it.
"It can only get better from here."
Petkovic leads Zahlavova Strycova in their head-to-head, 2-1, but they haven't played since 2012.
"She's a very tricky opponent," Petkovic said. "She has great feel for the ball and really makes you move on the court. She has great volleys and she's such a clever player. I need to play my best."