Nadia Petrova is many things to many people. She is one of those players on the tour that other players dread to see across the net. Not that she isn’t popular. She is. But, Nadia can present a formidable presence across the net.
At 5’10” and 143 pounds and with ten years on the tour, Nadia has the powerful physique and the experience to back up her big game.
The tall Russian likes her power game on a hard surface. And, as she showed in her 2010 Australian Open 6-0, 6-1 demolition of tournament favorite Kim Clijsters, and her three set upset of third seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, when Nadia has it going on, watch out.
Nadia’s career has seen its fair share of ups and down or moments of brilliance followed by periods of mediocrity. The fact of the matter is that Nadia has not fared well in majors, nor does she play the favorite’s role well. Prior to her Melbourne appearance, the second seed in Brisbane was ousted by Henin, coincidently her Australian conqueror, in the first round.
With 9 tour singles championships, 10 runner-up finishes and 18 doubles crowns along with 11 runner-up finishes, Nadia is not complaining. Her career singles record is a healthy 428 – 228. In doubles, she has accumulated 243 wins against 114 losses. Her career earnings are just shy of $9 million and she has banked nearly $200,000 this year. Not bad for a 27-year old.
Success is in her genes. Her father was an Olympic hammer thrower and her mother, Nadeja Ilina, won a bronze medal in the 400-meter relay at Montreal. Nadia was born to compete and born for athletics. She enjoys all the games and a lot of fishing. Her favorite book is Gone With The Wind, quite a surprise for a gal from Moscow.
On the court, Nadia likes to get right at it. She is a power player, built and trained to take risks and go for winners. Her serve is among the biggest on the tour. As a result, Nadia has a history of short points and short matches. When she is on, she is unstoppable. When she is off, she might as well go fishing.
Her stunning upset of Clijsters showcased her on-off dynamic. The unflappable Clijsters, the 2009 U.S. Open Champion and bookmaker favorite in Melbourne, had never suffered such a one-sided loss. In the third round of a major, no less. But, Nadia pulled it off. registering her first win against the 14th seed. When she followed with her second-ever triumph over the hot Svetlana Kuznetsova, she looked to be n he way.
The way she was playing and with Henin’s service problems, Nadia was in position. Granted, she had already played through the tournament favorite and third seed, only to be matched against a seven-time Grand Slam Champion, but a semifinal match-up would finally put her in the favorite’s role.
She battled Henin tooth and nail and at times appeared dominant. But, the little Belgian always has a plan. The quarterfinal 7-6, 7-5 loss was hard to take, but there she was, surrounded by media madness and simply wanting to play tennis.
For those of us who saw her dismantle Clisters and overcome Svetlana, we still believe her ship will come in. Perhaps her Melbourne experience will rekindle the fire that burns deeper than we suspect. After all, success is in her genes. Go for it, Nadia!
|Year Turned Pro||1999|
|Current Rank – Singles||19|
|Current Rank – Doubles||17|
|Career Prize Earnings||$8,090,412|
|Year-To- Date – Earnings||$184,595|
|Grand Slam (Singles)||0|
|Grand Slam Doubles||0|
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