Petrova: It’s a great accomplishment
Originally published on: 01/10/12 00:00
After finishing last season outside the top 20 for the first time in a decade, Nadia Petrova’s best years appeared to have come and gone. But a win against world No.3 Agnieskza Radwanska in the final of Tokyo on Saturday and victory at the Unicef Open back in June have seen the 30-year-old Russian rise to No.14 in the world.
“This is the biggest tournament I've ever won,” said the former World No.3 on her success in Japan. “It's a great accomplishment. At the beginning of the tournament I definitely didn't expect to win the title because of the back injury I've been struggling with.”
The win in Tokyo is the 12th title of Petrova’s career and the first in which she’s beaten three top 10 opponents – Sara Errani, Sam Stosur and Radwanska – on the way to victory. Petrova will now be hoping the win acts as a springboard to further success, with the Moscow-native taking inspiration from fellow players who’ve been successful on the major stage later in their careers.
“There are a few players who have won Grand Slams after 30, and I feel like I don't want to walk away from tennis without accomplishing the same,” said Petrova, whose best performance at a Grand Slam was a semi-final appearance at the French Open in 2003 and 2005. “I still find the will to wake up every morning and go on the court and just try to improve with each day.
"If it's meant to happen it will, but if it doesn't, at the end of my career I'll know I've done everything I could to achieve it.”