Events Players

Andrea Petkovic says goodbye to Bad Homburg

By Vanessa Taylor

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Andrea Petkovic came to Bad Homburg to say goodbye to her “hometown” tournament. Hometown in the sense that it’s the WTA tournament closest to Darmstadt, where she moved from Bosnia as a child.

In 2021, the first year of the Bad Homburg Open, her friend and tournament ambassador Angelique Kerber had invited her to replace a late withdrawal.

She enticed Petkovic by pointing out that she’d be able to live at home while the tournament was on. “It’s the first tournament in my entire career where I can sleep at home,” Petkovic said.

Andrea Petkovic at the 2021 Bad Homburg Open. Photo: Daniel Maurer

She lost to Amanda Anisimova in the second round but enjoyed the event and returned last year, when she won just three games in her first round against Daria Kasatkina.

Later in the year, she announced she would retire after the US Open. She made a tearful first round farewell to her tennis career after losing in three tight sets to Belinda Bencic.

She left tennis with a world ranking of 141 but had reached the high of No. 9 twice, six years apart in 2005 and 2011.

Andrea Petkovic after her retirement match at the 2022 US Open.
Photo: Rob Prange

This year Petkovic returned to Bad Homburg to play exhibition matches under the banner “Petko and Friends”.

Firstly she played and won a match tiebreak against Anna-Lena Friedsam.

The 35 year old Petkovic joked, “I’m still one of the fittest tennis grandmas in the world!”

She then teamed with Angelique Kerber to play doubles.

Andrea Petkovic and Angelique Kerber after their exhibition doubles match.
Photo: Daniel Maurer

Both players demonstrated their skills and flair to the capacity crowd and didn’t reveal a rustiness due to retirement or, in Kerber’s case, maternity leave.

Against opponents Friedsam and German BJK Cup captain Rainer Schüttler, the score didn’t matter. Petkovic was always going to do her signature Petko-dance.

This time it earned a standing ovation from the crowd and Petkovic couldn’t contain her emotions.

Kerber told her, “We will miss you, especially me.”

Since March, Petkovic has moved into the next phase of her professional life, as a commentator for the Tennis Channel. During her playing days, she always kept a journal with detailed assessments of matches and opponents and her analytical prowess has served her as a commentator.

Title photo by Daniel Maurer

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