Andrea Petkovic feels buzz in Serena Williams comeback
Andrea Petkovic, who advanced to the semifinals of the Mercury Insurance Open on Friday afternoon with a decisive 6-2, 6-1 win over American teenager Sloane Stephens, said she was impressed with the way Serena Williams won her first tournament since injuring her foot in July of 2010 but cautioned that even with the win in Stanford last week, Williams isn't certain to dominate women's tennis any more.
"Women's tennis has changed," said Petkovic, who said Williams was her idol when she was growing up in Germany. "I still think she's one of the greatest players in the history of tennis. But I also think she's going to have a much tougher time now than she had maybe five years ago because there are so many girls out there.
"I'm thinking of (Victoria) Azarenka, (Petra) Kvitova, Maria Sharapova, who is playing again almost at her best. So I think it's going to be tough."
We were right there with Petkovic until that Sharapova part. Williams beat Sharapova last week on her way to winning the title in Stanford. The score was 6-1, 6-3. Sharapova hasn't beaten Williams since 2004.
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: Andrea Petkovic returns a forehard against Sloane Stephens during their Mercury Insurance Open quarterfinal on Friday at LaCosta Resort and Spa in Carlsbad. Credit: Denis Poroy / Reuters