Angelique Kerber is on maternity leave, and now Andrea Petkovic is also announcing the end of her career. The versatile athlete has her last major appearance on the tennis stage at the US Open. She has already gained a lot of experience for her second career.

Andrea Petkovic’s fans had suspected it for a week. The tennis player had an unspectacular training video on Instagram with the hashtag “

The US Open is generally “my last tournament,” said the 34-year-old in an interview with the ARD “Sportschau” immediately before her opening game on Tuesday. Then Petkovic will probably leave the big tennis stage after 16 eventful years on the tour, because anything but a defeat against the Swiss Olympic champion Belinda Bencic would be a big surprise.

But the Darmstadt resident leaves a back door open: After the US Open, she may have “a tournament in Europe” that “is a little closer to my family and friends”. But maybe “it’s already over in New York”. The announcement of her resignation is not really surprising, Petkovic actually wanted to put the racket in the corner as early as 2020. After that she only thought from year to year. “Let’s see how long the old horse can hold out,” said the former world number ninth, self-ironic.

National coach Barbara Rittner reacted with great regret. She spoke of a “great loss for German tennis”. With her “special character” and “irresistible will”, Petkovic is a “role model for the younger generation”.

There is no fear that the seven-time WTA tournament winner will fall into the much-cited hole after the end of her active career. Petkovic, who is considered cosmopolitan, educated and ambitious, has successfully tried out many professional fields in recent years. Since December 2019, the 2014 French Open semi-finalist has been part of the ZDF team of sports presenters. She has written columns for the magazine of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” and for the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper”.

The Hessian with the Abitur final grade of 1.2 has always thought outside the box. Her interest in literature, music, art, politics and social issues is well known, which also earned her an invitation to the “Literary Quartet”. Her first work as an author “Between Fame and Honor Lies the Night”, in which Petkovic tells stories about her life as a professional athlete.

But strangely enough, the many part-time jobs brought her back the joy of competitive sports. “Through my many trips it became even clearer to me that my greatest passion is tennis,” she once said. With this increased motivation, Petkovic triumphed again in August 2021 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania – it was her first tournament victory in six and a half years. And it will very likely be her last.

Petkovic announced her resignation, Julia Görges said goodbye two years ago, Angelique Kerber’s return after her baby break is uncertain: a change is taking place in German women’s tennis. The successor generation to Steffi Graf is leaving, new talents such as Wimbledon quarter-finalist Jule Niemeier (23) or Nastasja Schunk (19) now have to fill this gap.

For Niemeier, Petkovic acts as a kind of mentor, both have already played doubles together. Because of her open and helpful nature, Petkovic will also be missing from the German Fed Cup team, with which she reached the final in 2014. But Petkovic senses that the time to say goodbye has come. “I trust my heart and my feelings completely,” she once said about the time of her resignation.