Monday, March 28, 2011

You make me feel like dancing

Today in Miami, Andrea Petkovic did what Daniela Hantuchova was not quite able to do--the 21st seed took number 1 seed Caroline Wozniacki out of the Sony Ericsson Open. Whereas Hantuchova (who has a history of problems closing big matches) couldn't hold her nerve, Petkovic had no problem in that area. She also had no problem hitting repeatedly to Wozniacki's forehand and moving way inside the baseline to take charge of Wozniacki's second serves.

The German player (known on this blog as Dance Party) said after the match that she went in with a solid plan, and she stuck with that plan, even after losing a set. Petkovic credits working out a game plan with her coach and staying on that plan as the reason she was able to defeat Wozniacki. The top seed held three set points on Petkovic's serve in the first set, but Petkovic saved them all, and went on to hold and break. This kind of mental resolve helped take the 21st seed to victory. "Most players think they can overpower Caroline," Petkovic said, "but that's the wrong approach. She brings every ball back. I mixed it up, and thankfully, it worked in the end."

After the match, Petkovic performed her customary boogie on the court, and she really had something to dance about; she is the first German player to reach the Miami quartefinals since Anke Huber did so ten years ago. Dance Party now faces 6th seed Jelena Jankovic, who defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-1, 6-3 in the fourth round.


bill said...

Dance Party aka Petkorazzi had a few collapses last year - if she can keep her cool, as in this match, she'll go far this year.

Overhead Spin said...

I wish she would put as much effort into winning tournaments rather than all the gimmickry. She came on my radar last year in Paris indoors at the Open GDF and I remember her more for her monumental breakdowns than I do for winning anything of note. She seems to spend quite a bit of time ingratiating herself by doing all sorts of gimmickry stuff rather than trying to win tournaments or making people ooh and aah about her game.

In yesterday's match, Woz was undeniably flat and listless. Her game was not working at all, and that could have been due to Petko's play. It says a lot about Woz that it took Petko playing fierce tennis to even defeat her and I think a lot of people are losing sight of that fact in their haste to dig out stats about the first German to do this, that or the other.

Diane said...

I started out thinking Petkovic was interesting because of some of the ideas she expressed. But, as time went on, I began to wonder whether those ideas were genuine--or if Petkovic just likes to talk a lot and latches on to topics a bit too easily.

She was choking--and otherwise breaking down--quite a bit, and I, too, wanted her to drop the gimmicks and just get on with not losing.

I still feel that way, but there has been a definite improvement in her mental strength lately, so I am enjoying her more on the court. The other stuff is not my cup of tea, but the way she played yesterday--now that is something I could get into.