Andrea Petkovic defeats Varvara Lepchenko 6-0, 6-4 in the First Round

Andrea Petkovic defeats Varvara Lepchenko 6-0, 6-4 in the First Round

A. Petkovic defeats V. Lepchenko 6-0, 6-4 First Round

Q. Tricky conditions. How did you get through that? And how did you get it done in two as well because the second set got a little bit tougher.

ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah. I tried not to focus on that, but it was definitely in the back of my mind. Boy, was it cold. I could see my breath coming out, and at one point I think it was snowing.

Q. It’s possible.

ANDREA PETKOVIC: So there was a lot going on out there. But actually, I didn’t think maybe because I was prepared mentally when I checked the weather forecast, it said it’s going to be really windy, and it got windy at times, but I think mentally I was prepared for the bigger storm, so everything that wasn’t a storm was okay for me today.

Q. When it’s cold like that, how does that change how you play?

ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, I could feel it in the beginning on my backhand. I didn’t feel my left hand at all, so I didn’t feel my backhand. That was weird. And I just think I was trying more for — I felt it in the warmup. We had just a short warmup, 15 minutes when the court got ready. And I think it’s more important to get depth on the ball than to hit hard, because with the cold, the ball stays, so if you just hit hard but short, you can — or your opponent can just redirect the ball, and it’s much easier to play than when you have depth, because then you have to go back and generate pace on these like depth balls, which is much tougher. So that’s what I especially got really well done in the first set. I just focused on letting my arms flow and get depth because then it’s really difficult to play in this cold. But apart from that I think it’s just survival mechanism and trying to want it more than your opponent in some sense.

Q. When you took that first set in 15, 20 minutes, whatever it was, did you start to get those feelings that you did a couple of years ago when you just dominated this tournament?

ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, I do have to say at it was 7-0 at one point. It reminded me of when I won this tournament. I think I won my first or second round 0 and 0 on Althea Gibson Court. I was like, oh, this is a good start. But then it turned quickly, so maybe those thoughts were not the most intelligent ones to have in this moment.

Q. How are you doing overall this year?

ANDREA PETKOVIC: I’m feeling fine. I’m feel really good. I think Tom Brady would be proud of me because I bought his book and I’m reading it thoroughly. And he drinks 250 ounces of water a day. My hydration level is I have to pee every three seconds but still far away from Tom Brady. I don’t know if I can match him. But he has some good tips, so I think I really have my body in check so far, hopefully. And, yeah, we’ll see how much longer.

Q. What compelled you to pick up Tom Brady’s book?

ANDREA PETKOVIC: I think it was just the fact that he’s stayed healthy for so long, I think, because in the beginning that’s what the most interesting part to me was I think as an athlete — I mean I get it fans have this — for fans it’s amazing to read somebody like Roger or Rafa who won Grand Slams when he was 20 and who was amazing when he was 18. But for me, as an athlete it was much more inspiring to read Tom Brady’s story where he was average for most of his life and through his work ethic and trying new things and being open minded and letting advisors in and making the right choices, he became one of the greatest in his sport, and I think that’s what’s inspiring to me as an athlete, that somebody who was never thought of as this like incredible genius somehow made it work. And I think that’s why. Because I don’t really care about NFL that much. (Laughs).

Q. I have an off-topic question.

ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yes.

Q. Have you written any poetry lately?

ANDREA PETKOVIC: Poetry, no, I haven’t. Who told me — I’m reading Henry Miller right now, Tropic of Cancer, and he talks about Walt Whitman a lot, so I was thinking of picking that up because I think that’s his favorite poet.

Q. I recommend it.

ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah. And do you like it?

Q. Yes. Can you compare the Petkovic that won the title here and how she approached her career and saw her career compared to the one now?

ANDREA PETKOVIC: That’s a good question. I was coming back from injury. Then I won. I had a really good year, and then I — well, I think the biggest difference what I’m trying to work at now is sort of using tennis as a tool — I think I’ve achieved so many things, if I was to retire today, I would be happy. I still want to achieve much more, but I would be satisfied. Not happy, but I would be satisfied, and I think I could look back at a good career. And now I think tennis is more of a tool for me to evolve as a human and as a personality, because there is still so many things where I’m so stubborn and just sometimes think I’m smarter than everybody else just bays I read two books in my life, you know. And those are the things that I try to change, and tennis is a tool for me to achieve that, where I have to listen to others and I have to sort of be open minded and just evolve every day. And in tennis when you don’t do that, you get the cost right away, you know, you have to pay your debts. So that’s what I like about tennis, and when you do the right things, also you get a reward. Maybe not right away, but it pays off at one point, and I’ve been through so many ups and downs in my career that I know that, and so now tennis is sort of a tool for me to just evolve my personality and work on these things that are still my weaknesses somehow.

Q. You could play Sakkari in the next round if she wins her opening match. How well do you know her?

ANDREA PETKOVIC: We practiced a lot of times when she was just coming up, and we played a few times in some of the smaller tournaments; one, I remember in Madrid in the qualifying. And it’s been amazing because she’s such a great girl. I like her so much, and it’s been so amazing to see her rise and play so well. Yeah, that would be — I really like her. Who is she playing?

Q. I can’t remember off the top of my head. Qualifier.

ANDREA PETKOVIC: Yeah, well, I am going to see, and yeah, prepare, and listen to other people, what they have to tell me. Sometimes.

Q. Sometimes. Not all the time. Thank you.

ANDREA PETKOVIC: Thank you.

Andrea Petkovic Varvara Lepchenko