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Has Petko Ever Been To Petco? Five Minutes With Andrea Petkovic...

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on September 5, 2011 at 3:40 PM

     Andrea Petkovic loves to dance. The 23-year-old German has become a mainstay for diehard tennis fans in the must-watch YouTube video queue. She originated her "Petko Dance" jig here last year when she scored a major first-round win over Nadia Petrova, and the movement has evolved over the course of the last year. It - the dance, that is - currently takes on the form of the 'Pop and Lock', except she only uses her upper body. In her third-round win over Roberta Vinci on Saturday, she did the move for all four sides of the crowd on Grandstand, much like Andre Agassi bid adieu with his four bows. As "Petko," as she's admiringly known, tries to advance to her first-ever Open quarterfinal, sat down to find out a few more quirks about Germany's top-ranked player. Tell me about where you're staying in NYC. For some reason I feel like it might be something different than everyone else.


Andrea Petkovic: I'm in the Hotel Gansevoort and I think that the Kardashians checked in like five days ago. Really? No way.


Petkovic: Yeah. And today I'm pretty sure I saw Lady Gaga. I'm not positive. But I'm pretty sure it was her. Every time I go out of the hotel there are tons of paparazzi and fans waiting outside. They even had to put up barriers. When I leave the hotel they are looking at me like 'Yeah... no. Nobody knows her.' But is that better than getting bombarded with fans?


Petkovic: I think it's a good feeling ... a little better [than being chased down]. When I'm dressed in my tennis clothes take pictures because I think they figure, 'OK, she's from the US Open.' Is it just you staying there? Any other players?


Petkovic: I think it's only me and Robin Soderling. But he got sick. And [Ivo] Karlovic is there, too. Speaking of the Kardashians, what do you think of Americans and our obsession with reality TV? Is it pretty ridiculous to you?


Petkovic: We have it in Germany, too. It's not just an American thing. It's everywhere. It's spreading in every culture right now, I don't know why. But we have it in Germany, also. I just try to stay away from it. I tweeted it like four weeks ago: "Jersey Shore is like freaking eating chips. You know it's not good for you but you can't stop. You know you're getting sick, but it doesn't matter." If I put on TV, I try to watch HBO or some movie or the tennis on ESPN. Otherwise, I try to watch movies that I like. But what if you could have your own reality show, Andrea. Like be "Petko the Producer?"


Petkovic: Oh god! [Laughing.] If I could produce my own reality show I would try to go and show the real culture of the cities that I go to, the sub-cultures. Little bars and that kind of stuff. But, it would never be really popular. But I think that would make it a better reality show than what's on TV now. It's not reality anymore. Why do they call it reality if it's not reality anymore? OK, so say you can spend a romantic day, but you only can be on the grounds of the National Tennis Center. What's your plan?


Petkovic: Here? Oh no! [Laughing.] Um... I would probably take a bottle of wine and go up to the highest seat of Ashe. I would probably take up some French, heavy wine. So your head gets all, you know... foggy. I think wine without food is good to get wasted. How romantic of me, huh? Very romantic. But I think that's what I would want to do. Your birthday is next week [September 9]. Have you ever been in NYC to celebrate? If not, what do you think you'd want to do in the city to ring in 24?


Petkovic: I've never been in the city to celebrate my birthday. I hope ... I hope this year [smiling]. On Thursday, after my second-round match, I went to the Sugar Bar where every Thursday they have an open-mic session. They have an incredible band and you can sign up in the front and the singers are incredible. I thought, 'You know, normally open-mic sessions in Germany 80 percent of people suck and 20 percent are really good.' But they were all absolutely amazing. They were singing Stevie Wonder and the Temptations and all this kind of old stuff. I think something like that [for my birthday] would be really nice. I just hope I'm still here. That would be so cool. You've certainly proven yourself as a great dancer. Do you have any yearning to go to Broadway and see some professional dancing there?


Petkovic: I would really like to go to a really, really good show. Not just go there because I want to go, you know? I need to read up. Do you have any suggestions? Yeah, you've gotta see Book of Mormon.


Petkovic: Book of Mormon? OK. I will keep that in mind. So you just secured at least $1 million in earnings for the year with your success here.


Petkovic: I did?! I didn't know that. [Cheering.] What are you planning on buying me?


Petkovic: You? What do you want? What do you like? I will Google you and find out what you like. Yes, please do. No, I'm more curious what you would buy yourself. You just topped $1 million!


Petkovic: For me? Is there anything that I need? No, I think I'm fine. I just bought myself an iPad and I think that was a pretty good decision. I have all the books and all the movies that I like to watch and I have it right there. I don't have to watch the crap on TV. Being from Germany, are you more of a Tommy Haas gal or Nicolas Kiefer?


Petkovic: Oooh. I would say... looks-wise? Or personality-wise? Looks-wise I would go with Kiefer, but personality-wise I would go for Haas. That's pretty diplomatic, right? You probably hate me for asking, right?


Petkovic: I like [Haas]. I don't talk to him a lot but everytime we do talk he's really nice and I just get a great energy from him -- I go by energy -- and I get a good energy from him. Since you're known as Petko, I'm curious if you've ever to a Petco in the States? Do you know what they are?


Petkovic: No, I haven't been! I know, it's what, for pets, right? In Indian Wells I stayed at a hotel where everytime I looked out my window there was a Petco. I haven't been there yet, though. I think that should be your reality show, Petko at Petco.


Petkovic: It would be really funny. Not a lot of people know that you were born in the former Yugoslavia and have ties to Novi Sad, the same town where Monica Seles grew up. Do you have a connection with her?


Petkovic: I don't, I don't. She's always been one of my idols. My coach always tells me before a match, 'Cool head. Warm heart.' And that's what her dad always used to tell her when she was playing. That's the only connection I have, but I would really love to meet her one day.

By Nick McCarvel.


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