Andrea Petkovic on her Doha quarter-final loss

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The back put a spanner in the works – Andrea Petkovic loses in the quarterfinals

A clearly hampered Andrea Petkovic missed reaching the semifinals at the WTA Premier tournament in Doha.

“I think she’s an incredibly good player, she’s been in the Top 20 for 2 years now, at least makes the quarterfinals at every tournament. We’ll see how well I can recover, because that was another quite long match and I’m really feeling the last matches in my bones.”  That’s what Andrea Petkovic had said to after her second round win at the WTA Premier tournament in Doha about her next opponent, Lucie Safarova.

And her worries have materialized: In the quarterfinal against the World No.15 from the Czech Republic, the body of the German No.1 didn’t play along anymore.

Because of her many matches at the Fed Cup against Australia and during her tournament win in Antwerp, her back had acted up, and that only increased on Thursday: The World No.10 lost, clearly hampered, in straight sets, 2-6 1-6, and therefore couldn’t continue to use her good draw in Doha. Safarova will now meet her ranking neighbour Carla Suarez Navarro. The Spaniard, currently the World No.14, beat the No.1 seeded Czech Petra Kvitova 3-6 6-0 6-3. The other semifinal will be contended by Venus Williams, who beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 1-6 6-3, and two-time Doha champion Victoria Azarenka, who thoroughly defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-3 6-1.

“Certainly not from me! I would have to fly against the wall with my head [for that to happen]. As long as I can stand on two legs I’ll play!” Petkovic had laughingly proclaimed to the day before when asked whether there could be a walkover or a retirement.

And there wasn’t one indeed, but the Darmstadt native afterwards couldn’t hide that she wasn’t fully fit. “I injured my back a little bit” – which, as reported, had been giving her trouble before, but this time the trouble was much more severe. “At the start of the match, I think at 2-1 in the first set, I ran to a corner [of the court] and then my back just gave in”. But she didn’t want to use it as an excuse: “I have to say that she played great,” she praised her conqueror, despite the disappointment.

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