Petko on Tennis, Love and Her King Street ‘Trip’

Well known to avid tennis fans, German Andrea Petkovic (aka “Petko”) has danced, joked and charmed her way into the hearts of the sport’s insiders. This week, the world No. 40 has also played some great tennis, making her first quarterfinal in two appearances at the Volvo Car Open.

Volvo Car Open: This is your second time here. Tell us about being in Charleston.
Andrea Petkovic: Actually, funny story: I was on King Street and I face-planted in the middle of the road! [Laughing.] The street is a little uneven and I was looking around to see everything and I fell down. I’m such a coordinated athlete! I don’t think my sister has ever laughed so hard.

FCC: That is hilarious. What else happened on King Street?
Petkovic: We went by this fudgery and I didn’t know those kind of things existed. I kept looking inside and the girl invited me in, but I was too scared.

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FCC: So you went in, right?
No, I didn’t go inside. I ran for my life. I can’t have fudge now – only after the tournament. [Smiling.] 

FCC: The South is pretty popular for movies like The Notebook and Dear John. What would your Nicholas Sparks plot be like?
Petkovic: Oh those movies are so cheesy! My movie? The plot would be: girl meets boy, they fall in love, but then boy meets another girl and they fall out of love. My movies always end badly. [Laughing.]

FCC: That’s kind of depressing. But sounds like you have some stories to tell.
Petkovic: Well, I write poems and I journal. Sometimes I write fiction short stories, but they are always bad. Sometimes my poetry is good, but only a line or two. I’ll read it and it’ll sound like Hemingway, but then the whole thing isn’t good. I wish I could express myself better… but maybe that’s why I just play tennis, right?

FCC: What stories do you think still need to be told in tennis?
Petkovic: I would love to see that Williams sister documentary. Maria Sharapova’s life is so interesting, so is the Serbians’ [Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic] as they grew up playing tennis through war.

FCC: You’ve had a handful of injuries over the last couple of years. What’s a goal for you moving ahead this year?
Petkovic: I would really like to be back to being seeded at the Grand Slams. My life has been harder without that seed and now I can appreciate it a lot more. I can’t get momentum because I’m playing top players earlier. By the end of the year? I would love to be top 20.