Petkovic suffers knee injury at Hopman Cup

Updated 30 December 2012
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Petkovic suffers knee injury at Hopman Cup

PERTH: Andrea Petkovic’s 2013 campaign has suffered a potentially catastrophic setback before the New Year has even begun, with the German struck down by a knee injury at the mixed teams Hopman Cup yesterday.
The injury-plagued Petkovic appeared hampered by a right knee problem late in the opening stanza of her singles match against Australian teenager Ashleigh Barty, but still managed to win the first set 6-4.
The former top 10 player sought treatment at the end of the first set and broke down in tears while being attended by the trainer.
With her right knee heavily strapped she returned to the court, but the 25-year-old did not even manage to play another point, instead retiring from the match in tears, throwing her upcoming Australian Open campaign into serious doubt.
Petkovic had been ranked as high as ninth in the world in 2011, but slipped outside the top 100 this year due to injuries, with back and ankle problems seeing her end the year at 126 in the rankings after playing just 23 matches for the season.
She had surgery on a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in 2008 and last year tore the meniscus in the same knee.
Her retirement handed Australia a 3-0 win in the Group A tie, with the Germans forfeiting the mixed doubles and Bernard Tomic earlier beating Tommy Haas in three sets.
In the men’s singles, veteran Haas did everything but beat the 20-year-old Tomic, the Australian eventually prevailing 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 7-5 in a match the German generally controlled.
The German, ranked 21st at age 34, had a seemingly insurmountable 6-1 lead in the first set tie break, but then inexplicably lost the next seven points to hand the Australian the set.

Haas levelled the match and appeared to be cruising through the deciding set after an early break, until he served for the match at 5-4.
Tomic, ranked 52nd, broke back to level the set, held serve and then broke Haas again to take the match.
“I don’t know how I got out of that tiebreak,” Tomic said after the win.
Earlier on the opening day, the Spanish pairing of Anabel Madinah Garrigues and Fernando Verdasco notched a 2-1 win over South Africa in sweltering heat.
The singles rubbers were split in the Group B tie, with Madinah Garrigues beating Chanelle Scheepers and Kevin Anderson upsetting Verdasco before the Spaniards proved too strong in the deciding mixed doubles.
The fourth seeds for the eight-nation tournament, Verdasco and Madinah Garrigues, won the doubles in a match tiebreak, 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 10-8 on a day where the mercury reached 40C (104F).
Anderson notched his first win over Verdasco in three attempts in the opening men’s singles match, despite being ranked 13 places below the Spaniard at 37.
The South African had chances to break the remodeled Verdasco serve in the first set, but made amends in the tiebreak and then went on to win in straight sets, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, in one hour and 43 minutes.
Madinah Garrigues, ranked 50th, had too many shots for the 60th-ranked Scheepers, the two players trading blows from the back of the court in some lengthy rallies.
Scheepers had won their only previous encounter and held 11 break points to the Spaniard’s eight during the match, but Madinah Garrigues came from a break down in the first set to win 6-4, 6-2.


Lewis Hamilton tells rivals ‘catch me if you can’

Updated 20 February 2019
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Lewis Hamilton tells rivals ‘catch me if you can’

  • Five-time world champion feeling confident of a sixth crown ahead of new season.
  • Pre-season testing going well in Barcelona.

BARCELONA: Lewis Hamilton has warned his rivals they had better get ready to catch his dust as he is feeling “better than ever” ahead of the season.
The 34-year-old Briton enjoyed a near flawless run to secure his fifth drivers’ title last year. He won 11 of the 21 races to beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel with two races to spare, and he expects the Italian marque to once again keep him on his toes.
“Ferrari are very strong,” Hamilton said in Barcelona on the third day of pre-season testing.
“It appears they have a better package than last year, which means it will be a bigger challenge for us.
“In the last few years, Ferrari has looked good from the very beginning so that’s to be expected.”
But he said it would be a mistake to draw any hard and fast conclusions from the evidence thrown up by testing.
“We’ll have a better idea I guess this time next week where we stand but still then we won’t know what fuel loads everybody is on and who is showing their cars and who isn’t.”
Hamilton, with a new two-year deal that will earn him £40 million ($52 million) a season, is buzzing after the winter recess.
“I feel in the best shape that I’ve been in,” he assured his fans, as he embarks on his quest for a sixth championship and record sixth consecutive constructors’ crown for Mercedes.
On a sixth title he shrugged: “I am not even focusing on that. It’s a new season, a new year, a new chapter and we have to approach like it’s our first.
“We’re going for number one, that’s how I approach it.
“But it’s not something that I allow my peers to talk about. It’s not what we are here for to focus on that number.”
He dismissed out of hand any notion of complacency setting in at his all-conquering team.
“We are always driven to do something new and to break boundaries and do stuff that no one else has done before but we are fully aware of the work that it will take to deliver something like that and it’s by no means like ‘yeah we are going for the sixth’ like it’s a relaxed thing.
“It’s not like that.”
Hamilton’s bid for title number six begins at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 17.