By Tumaini Carayol
STUTTGART – So far, 2011 has been a year filled with great highs and new progress for Germany’s Andrea Petkovic. In January, the 23 year-old wowed spectators at the Australian Open as she demolished 2008 champion Maria Sharapova in the fourth round to move into the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career.
As if to prove that her Australian Open run was no fluke, Petkovic replicated that blistering form at the second biggest tournament so far in 2011, storming into the semi-finals and taking the scalps of current number one and former number one Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic back-to-back en-route.
Though a favorite amongst die-hard fans for far longer, Miami also happened to be the place where Petkovic was transformed from a fairly unknown player into a superstar. As her success continued throughout the week, more and more reporters took notice of her stellar performances and charismatic personality off-court. She quickly became the story of the tournament as her trademark ‘Petko Dance’ grabbed US and European headlines alike and propelled her into the new.
Following her 3-6 6-2 6-2 first round win over Tamira Paszek in Stuttgart, Petkovic sat down to address her newfound fame.
“I felt the pressure, the expectations rising from the audience, from the media. But I think I handled it well in Fed Cup”
“Now the only new problem was to redo it in a normal tournament situation only two days later.”
When asked whether she felt like a superstar, she giggled.
“No, I don’t feel like a superstar. In my town Darmstadt, when I walks through the city nobody ever talks to me, only one guy and he always tells me ‘you parked wrong” she laughed.
“I’m still normal. I’m not Paris Hilton.”
Petkovic is set to play Jelena Jankovic in the second round on Wednesday.
Tumaini Carayol is in Suttgart covering the Porsche TennisÂ Grand PrixÂ for Tennis Panorama News. He is a Â contributing writer at On The Baseline, and writes about professional tennis at his site Foot Fault. Follow his Stuttgart coverage here and on our twitter account @GVTennisNews. Follow him on twitter at @FootFault_.