Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nadia Petrova uncertain about her future

Nadia Petrova's image hangs outside the Family Circle Cup Stadium near Charleston

In a refreshingly candid (would we expect anything else of her?) interview on iafrica.com, Russian star Nadia Petrova reveals that she is unsure about what her future holds. "I'm trying to find some answers, but I'm not sure what I'm looking for," she says.

Petrova was once thought by many to be the most talented of the Russian players, and it was assumed that she would be the first to break through. But she didn't even win a tournament until late 2005, and it helped a lot that her opponent, Patty Schnyder, had an injury in the middle of the match and was playing with one hand. The win gave Petrova confidence, though, and the following spring, she won three clay court tournaments in a row, and was considered a primary contender to win the French Open.

But during practice before the tournament began, Petrova was injured, and was therefore easily taken out in the first round. She has never regained her standing, and--playing with an injured back--went out in the first round of this year's French Open, too.

The articulate and intelligent Petrova, known for getting angry with herself on the court, says she is searching for motivation. She has lost her drive, and thinks that perhaps by developing some outside interests, she can feel more balanced and regain her interest in tennis. But she has not ruled out retiring and attending university.

Petrova, in my opinion, is a gem, and it would be a real loss to the tour if she left. Life can be difficult for late bloomers, especially in a field in which youth is considered everything, but Petrova is very talented, so here's hoping she finds a way to keep competing.

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