Andrea Petkovic has been mostly absent from this year's tennis results. She has had to deal with two major injuries, and her play has been limited to a handful of matches. Though she has played in several events lately, her comeback has stalled several times.
Fans of Petkovic, like me, are looking at 2012 as a lost season. The hope now is that the German can find some semblance of her form in her remaining events this year, get herself completely healthy, and come back in full force in 2013.
Petkovic was first sidelined by a low back injury early this year. The injury caused her to pull out of the Australian Open. She would also miss the early hard court season in the U.S., pulling out of big tournaments like Indian Wells and Miami.
Petkovic returned in time to represent Germany in the Fed Cup, losing to Australia's Sam Stosur in late April. In her next tournament, though, she suffered her second major setback of the year. Playing in her second round match in Stuttgart, she was down a set and tied 4-4 in the second against top-ranked Victoria Azarenka when she hurt her ankle.
The French Open was the next major casualty of Petkovic's 2012 schedule. The ankle took so much time to heal that she also missed Wimbledon and the 2012 London Olympics.
It was great to see Petkovic at the U.S. Open in New York, but she took a disheartening first round loss to 56th-ranked Romina Oprandi. In fact, Petkovic has won just one match since hurting her ankle in Stuttgart, an opening-round win at New Haven in August.
This week Petkovic was in Japan for the Toray Pan Pacific Open, an event that drew many of the top names on the WTA Tour. Sadly for her fans, she again dropped her opening round match, this time to 73rd-ranked Petra Martic. Though Petkovic won the first set at love, she lost the next two sets 6-4, 6-3.
Petkovic played her first event this year ranked as the #10 woman player in the world. Her injuries and lack of success recently have caused that ranking to drop to her current spot at #62.
I like Petkovic. Like her other fans, I enjoy her engaging personality and her quirkiness. It's important to remember, though, that she can also play some tennis. Her successful 2011 season saw her crack the top-10 for the first time and included a win (at Strasbourg) and runs to the quarterfinals at three of the four Grand Slams. Hopefully we can see that kind of good play from Petkovic in 2013.Brad Boeker has been a fan of professional tennis for over 30 years. He coaches high school tennis in Illinois.
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