Andrea Petkovic is an upcoming German Professional Tennis Player. Let’s take a look at her biography and then break down her game in detail!
Petkovic was born in 1987 in Bosnia. She moved to Germany at a very young age and has been living there ever since. In 2001 she obtained German citizenship and has been playing Fed Cup for Germany. She turned pro in 2006 after finishing High School in Germany.
Her best result so far on the pro tour is the Quarterfinals at the 2011 Australian Open.
Petko as she is often called is not your typical tennis professional. She spends almost as much time studying and educating herself as she does playing Tennis! Currently she is studying political science at a German University in Hagen.
Now we will have an in-depth look at her tennis game!
Petkovic is known for her relentless Power Tennis!
Andrea has a solid forehand. Like most professional female players she uses a semi-western grip which allows her to hit flat as well as with a lot of spin. Like almost all professional players she swings high low high, using gravity to her advantage.
She does have the all-important inside-out swing pattern and her motion is fluid as well!
One interesting thing to note about her forehand though is that she hits the ball relatively close to her body with her elbow tucked in. Usually only players with extreme forehand grips hit the ball this close to their body. It does seem to work well for her though!
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The backhand is Andrea’s strongest shot!
She has great mechanics and can hit with a lot of power. It seems like she can pretty much do whatever she wants with her backhand!
Especially impressive is her ability to take high balls with her backhand and absolutely crush them cross-court or down the line!
Petkovic has great grips with her left and right hand for the two-handed backhand. When watching her backhand you can really see how using the kinetic chain in the right way can generate incredible power!
She generates power from the ground up, winding and unwinding all the key body segments. Also she keeps her head very still and has great balance throughout the shot!
To learn more about the kinetic chain visit the Tennis Strokes page on this website!
Andrea rarely hits slice backhands. As strong as her two-hander is she usually does not have a reason to. Lately I have seen her hit some pretty solid defensive slice shots though and as ambitious and smart as Andrea Petkovic is, I believe that she will keep improving this shot in the future!
During her matches I have very rarely seen Andrea Petkovic at the net. Most likely this is an area of her game that she could improve a lot!
Andrea Petkovic’s serve is one of the weaker parts of her game!
She does not get many free points at all from her first serve and many opponents will attack her second serve.
Some of the key body positions could definitely be improved!
Like so many other women Andrea does not get a good separation angle between her hips and her shoulders.
She does not turn her shoulders away from the target enough.
Resulting from this her upper body is almost completely parallel to the net at contact, rather than at an angle to the right. Coaches would say that she opens up too early with her upper body.
Also I think the tempo/rhythm of her serve is not optimal!
She starts off the motion a bit too fast in, then slows down and finally accelerates again.
Great servers usually start off slow and then gradually increase the speed with which they move their racket!
The Petkovic Serve: Not fluid enough!
Andrea is usually relentless with her power tennis and that is generally a good tactic for her in my opinion!
In women’s Tennis it is usually the first player that can hit a strong down the line shot that wins the point.
The women are most often not capable of defending against those kinds of shots very well because they do not move well enough. This is of course due to the way their bodies are build.
In men’s Tennis on the other hand it is much more difficult to get past your opponent with a high risk down the line shot and therefore the men do not attempt these shots as often!
In certain situations Andrea could add some more variety to her game!
Like so many other female pros she tends to keep hitting the ball hard and flat from almost every situation on the court. I believe that there is a lot of room for improvement here.
Especially in defensive situations it would make sense for most women to mix up the pace sometimes, defending with slower higher topspin shots or defensive slice shots!
Justine Henin showed the way in this regard when she dominated women’s Tennis a few years ago!
Andrea is probably one of the hardest workers on the women’s tour.
She attributes a lot of her recent success to the increased amounts of physical work that she has done lately!
Andrea moves extremely well around the court. Even more impressive though is the stability that she has in her body when she hits the ball! In order to hit the ball as hard as she does on a consistent basis you have to be incredibly stable and strong in your core musculature!
In the past Andrea has struggled mentally in some important matches. I read that she has been working with a mental coach and it seems like she is a lot more confident on the court in 2011.
She has also stated that her improved confidence is in large part due to her improved fitness. Knowing that your opponents can not easily score any points against you, because you move so well, is a great way to improve your confidence!
Andrea is a very smart girl so I am sure she will find more ways to get stronger mentally in the future but at the moment I still see the mental side of her Tennis as a weak part.
I would rank Andrea Petkovic’s skills in the following order:
If I were to coach Andrea I would start off
by working on her serve mechanics!
She needs to improve this shot if she wants to enter the Top10 in the world!
A start would be to teach her to turn her upper body away from the target more and therefore not to open up as early! Her motion also needs to be more fluid.
Additionally, I believe she would benefit from adding some variety to her game, especially in defensive situations!
If she masters these improvements I think she could enter the Top10 in the world!
At the 2010 US Open Andrea came up with the idea to celebrate her victories with a little dance on court after the match. It became known as the Petko Dance and is quite popular with the media and the fans.
Check out the Petko Dance!