April 4, 2013 by Parveer Mann
There are post match celebrations and then there are POST MATCH celebrations. Those leaps, dances and exaltations of joy that can occur only when a player is celebrating victory. In recent years, we have all become familiar with Maria Sharapova’s blowing kisses to the crowd or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s jumping and fist pumps at the net. One celebration that we have sadly missed may be slowly returning as Andrea Petkovic begins to makes her return from back, ankle and knee injuries that sidelined her for the better part of 2012.
The Petko Dance
The funny and never quite smooth ‘Petko’ Dance became one of those organic and quirky things that have come to define Petkovic. Already known as one of the most engaging players on the WTA tour, she has also developed a sizable presence on social media. Her videos on YouTube have shown off her character ‘Petkorazzi’ and through them given fans access to a different side of players on tour. Her twitter handle(@andreapetkovic) has amassed 85,000 followers and is full of colourful and funny insights on tennis and pop culture.
On the court, she was equally successful, enjoying tournament success in 2010 and 2011 that catapulted her into the top 10. She was a leading member in a new German renaissance of women’s tennis that included Angelique Kerber, Julia Goerges, Sabine Lisicki and others. They were the most successful group of German players since Steffi Graf and ones that would rule the Fed Cup for many years. Sadly due to injuries, Petkovic has not been able to reach those lofty expectations yet and one does not know what to really expect in her first few tournaments back.
‘A changed person’
She has recently shied away from making the ‘Petko’ dance and her videos a gimmick that overshadows her play and expressed the fact she returns to tour a ‘changed’ person.
“My coach laughs at me when I tell him I’m a changed person, but it’s true because I don’t get frustrated anymore. I’m just enjoying to be back. I enjoy every moment of it. I enjoy being in the sun, I enjoy doing what I love.” – SI.com
As tennis fans, we can only hope that she can still find a way to show on and off court the personality and skill that many have come to adore.
This week, she did well to reach the 3rd round at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston before having to withdraw with a calf injury. We will have to wait and see if it is another setback or just a minor obstacle to start the clay season.