Petco has the best time of his life – in the semi-finals in Hamburg – Sport-Mix

Petco has the best time of his life - in the semi-finals in Hamburg - Sport-Mix

A loud scream, clapped fists and the famous Petco dance. Andrea Petkovic (33) celebrates her victory over Belgium’s Yeselin Bonaventure (26) at the European Open in Rothenbaum, Hamburg.

The former world number 9 (now 130) converted the second match point in 6:2, 7:5 after 84 minutes. Petco: “I’m so glad I stayed focused. I love playing here. The city is amazing. I’m having the best time of my life right now.”

In which she meets Joule Niemeyer (21/No. 167) in the world in a German semi-final duel on Saturday. In front of 700 spectators, Dortmund Women defeated third-placed Slovenian Tamara Zidansek (23) 6:2, 6:4.

Petco and Joule on the trail of the great Steffi Graf (52). The former world number one (22 Grand Slam titles) was the last German to win in Hamburg in 2000 – 7:6, 6:2 against Spaniard Arantex Sánchez Vicario (49).

And 2021? Niemeyer recklessly says: “I definitely have the confidence to win the tournament. But don’t deal with it at all, just focus on the next match.” Petkovic knows his opponent very well: “Jul several times during training Kicked my butt. I know what to do.”

The two have met only once. At the end of May in Strasbourg (France), Niemeyer won in three sets (6:3, 6:7, 6:3) and then finished in the top four of the WTA tournament for the first time.

Joule Niemeyer in action. She confidently says: “I want to be one of the best players in the world and of course win the Grand Slam”Photo: Withers

Prior to the German duel, top seed Dayana Yastremska (21/Ukraine) will play against qualifier Elena-Gabriella Russe (23/Romania) in the first semi-final (12 noon). While it rained heavily outside on Friday and pushed the manhole cover into the front of the stadium, Yastremska defeated Sara Irani (34 Italy) 7:6, 6:4 on covered center court. Russe (23) beat Danielle Collins (27/USA) 6:4, 1:6, 7:5.

Felix Auger-Aliassim (20/Canada), seeded three, canceled the men’s tournament (qualification starts at 11 a.m. Saturday). Wildcards have been given to Daniel Altmeyer (22), Philipp Kollschreiber (37) and OC Nikola Kuhn (21).

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