Petkovic proves a popular winner with peers

Injury-prone tennis player defies odds to win Family Circle Cup.

Andrea Petkovic, of Germany, clenches her fist after a point in the final against Jana Cepelova, of Slovakia, during the Family Circle Cup tennis tournament in Charleston. Petkovic won 7-5, 2-6. Mic Smith / AP Photo

If the congratulatory tweets on Twitter are any indication, Andrea Petkovic seems to be one of the most popular figures on the women’s circuit.

“So cool to see the charismatic @andreapetkovic coming back to her best level! Good job,” wrote Dubai finalist Alize Cornet after Petkovic’s win at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston.

“What a win. Amazing stuff and couldn’t be more happy for you!!! You deserve it so much,” said Ana Ivanovic, the former world No 1.

“Not a single player on tour would not feel good for Andrea Petkovic today. Incredible fight through many bad injuries,” wrote former Australian pro Darren Cahill.

It has indeed been an incredible turnaround for the German, who was world No 9 when a spate of injuries saw her ranking plummet to No 192.

It started with a double stress fracture of her spine in 2012. Then, on returning four months later, she tore her ankle ligaments during a match against Victoria Azarenka.

After surgery and four months of rehabilitation, she was back on the tour only to suffer a ruptured meniscus in her right knee. Another surgery was needed and Petkovic looked at alternate careers, at one stage asking about internships and a move towards politics.

But she only wanted to play tennis and her perseverance has finally paid off. Charleston is her first tour title in three years and Petkovic deserves all the accolades coming her way.

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