|Photo by Daniel Ward|
Last year, when she won the tournament as part of a dramatic post-injury comeback, Petkovic described herself as "a doubter." She said today that she has incorporated meditation into her training regimen, and that she is better able to use perspective to manage her more negative cognitions.
Of course, Petko being Petko, she also comically explained how she has re-framed some of her losses. When asked about how having to defend titles had affected her, she replied: "To me, I never actually had to go through this because I always got injured the next year." As for not having points to defend: "So I have a few tournaments that I just really badly flopped last year that really helped me now, ironically."
|Photo by Daniel Ward|
JJ also revealed how much of her ability to compete at a high level comes from fan support. Recently, in Indian Wells, where she reached the final, she was tired and down a break in a match and thought she might soon be headed home. But then fans beginning yelling words of encouragement to her, and she looked up and saw familiar faces, and she said that made all the difference. Jankovic said that she knows where her fans sit in the stands in Charleston, too--that they've been sitting in the same seats for years.
Last year, Jankovic and Petkovic played doubles together in Charleston, and probably comprised the funniest team in doubles history. Jankovic isn't playing doubles at this year's Family Circle Cup.
|Genie Bouchard (photo by Daniel Ward)|
|Ekaterina Makarova (photo by Daniel Ward)|
Fourth seed Sara Errani entertained the media by explaining her enthusiasm for studying the numbers in tennis. Errani said that she thoroughly enjoys keeping up with rankings and ranking points. The Italian star, discussing the recent dissolution of her world number 1 doubles partnership with Roberta Vinci, said that--for now--she wants to play singles only.
Eighth seed Caroline Garcia spoke frankly about her up-and-down results. She said that she needs to better learn how to win when she isn't playing especially well. Asked what her father (who is her coach) says to her, Garcia said that--in all these years--his words have never changed. By the end of the conversation, we were all able to yell "Keep focused, Caroline!"
Fifth seed Angelique Kerber and seventh seed Madison Keys were also on hand, but invariably, on these occasions, we don't get a chance to talk with everyone.
On this first day of main draw play, 16th seed Heather Watson was upset 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 by Donna Vekic, whose phenom status has been really endangered lately. Watson served at 4-all, 40-0 in the third set, and was broken.