Petkovic advances in Hobart despite challenge

BERLIN: Withdrawals are rather common in tennis but rarely has a player been in a situation as German Andrea Petkovic at the Hobart International in Tasmania where her first-round opponent changed twice. Petkovic beat American Nicole Gibbs 6-4, 6-0 on Monday after not playing initial opponent Misaki Doi due to a draw reshuffle, and after the next opponent Naomi Osaka withdrew on Sunday with a wrist injury. She only learnt that she would play Gibbs 90 minutes before the match, the tournament said, but the former top 10 player Petkovic took it in her stride.

“It was so difficult, I had three different opponents over the last three days. I really didn’t know, so in the end I was just like ‘I’m just going to go out on court and see what happens,’” she quipped.  “My coach is not here with me this week, so he texted me and told me to prepare for a leftie because I was supposed to play Doi. So I desperately tried to find a leftie to hit with and once I found someone, they changed it to Osaka. So then he was like ‘find someone who hits really hard,’ so I was desperately trying to find someone,then it wasn’t Osaka and I didn’t know who I was playing so it wasweird, but it’s okay,” Petkovic said. Petkovic’s next opponent is another lucky loser, Veronica CepedeRoyg, barring any further short-notice changes. — DPA