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Petrova sets sights on top 10


 

Originally published on: 13/03/12 11:30

The tournament in California’s desert may have been dubbed Indian Un-Wells after a spate of withdrawals due to illness, but Nadia Petrova looked fighting fit when she upset world No.6 Sam Stosur 6-1, 6-7, 7-6. The win will feel all the more sweeter for the former world No.3, who finished on the wrong side of a three-set loss to the Aussie in the longest match in US Open history last year.

Petrova, now 29, has been far from her best of late, finishing the 2011 season outside the world’s top 20 for the first time since 2002, and the Russian is now hoping to look ahead rather than behind.

“I want to get back into the Top 10,” said the 29 year old. “I have been out of that category of players for a couple of years now and it would be a nice thing for me to challenge the new players, like [Petra] Kvitova and [Victoria] Azarenka. They’re all young and full of energy.

“I do feel like I’m pushing towards the end of my career, but I know I still have a couple of good years left, so I want to maximize myself and give it my all. I want to say I have done it all with no regrets.”

Petrova, who was twice a French Open semi-finalist, began working with Ricardo Sanchez last month after the Spaniard’s working relationship with Caroline Wozniacki came to a premature end.

“I didn’t have a coach at the beginning of the year so I felt like I needed to do something if I wanted to continue playing well and keep moving forward, because I felt like I was stuck,” she said.

“I really wanted to have the best and with Ricardo, I’ve known him for almost 10 years. He’s worked with great players and I never had an opportunity to work with him. I always wanted to work with him.

“We had a good two week’s preparation coming into this tournament so I feel much better. Now all I need is matches.”

Petrova will now face compatriot and doubles partner Maria Kirilenko in the last 16.

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