Andrea Petkovic narrowly missed a surprise at the last big performance of her career. The other German professionals were also unsuccessful.
Andrea Petkovic waved to the audience again with tears in his eyes, “Petko, Petko” chants echoed over 7th place in the US Open: The Grand Slam career of the long-standing German number two ended after a bitter opening defeat in New York.
The 34-year-old lost 2: 6, 6: 4, 4: 6 to the Swiss Olympic champion Belinda Bencic on Tuesday despite a big fight over 2:14 hours. The long-running favorite Petkovic had announced before her 48th major that the hard court event in her adopted home would be the last appearance on the big stage.
“It was extremely emotional,” said national coach Barbara Rittner on the “Eurosport” microphone: “She has always given the young players a lot, she was great as a person. That’s why we will miss her.”
It was the right decision and she hopes “that I can knock one out again,” said the former world number ninth Petkovic, who is finding it extremely difficult to resign due to increasing injury problems. She left a small back door open for another appearance in Europe, but she probably experienced the special flair of a major for the last time as a professional.
German tennis stars are weakening
For the other German professionals, things are not going well at the last Grand Slam of the year. Laura Siegemund lost to the Romanian Sorana Cirstea 4: 6, 4: 6. On the opening day, Wimbledon semi-finalist Tatjana Maria had already lost. Only Jule Niemeier (Dortmund) had the chance to prevent a bitter German “zero round” on Tuesday.
In the men’s category, Peter Gojowczyk shuffled disappointed from fourth place. The 33-year-old from Munich was beaten by Danish top talent Holger Rune 2: 6, 4: 6, 6: 7 (5: 7).
Maximilian Marterer (Nuremberg) lost a little later to Marin Cilic, tournament winner from 2014, 3: 6, 2: 6, 5: 7. Oscar Otte (Cologne) and Daniel Altmaier (Kempen) still have the chance to cause surprises.
Petkovic comes into the match with difficulty
The German national coaches Michael Kohlmann and Barbara Rittner had already seen enormously difficult tasks ahead of the German professionals before the start of the tournament, who are missing the figureheads in Alexander Zverev after his injury and in Angelique Kerber because of her baby break.
“The conditions are not good right now,” said Kohlmann. “If things go badly, things look bleak after the first lap,” said Rittner.
Petkovic found it extremely difficult to get into the match against Bencic. In the second set she defended herself courageously and remained in focus in the decisive round – but it wasn’t quite enough. For the longtime German number two, reaching the semifinals in Paris 2014 remains the best result in the four most important tournaments of the year.
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