So Petko's blowing up. We all know this. Yesterday she got the Pete Bodo treatment. Now, I know what a lot of you are thinking, but surprisingly, no, he did not describe her as being "strong like a Munich beer wench."
I know. I was shocked, too.
It was actually a very nice, positive take on Petko's refreshing personality. Unfortunately, it's kinda totally factually wrong:
"Remember, Petkovic knocked out Venus Williams and Sharapova in back-to-back matches just a few months ago at the Australian Open."
Um. No she didn't. She was standing on the court when Venus screamed out in pain and retired from their match. And yes, that's kind of a huge difference, especially when you're using these facts to pump up Petko's chances against Masha. You know what would have been a better way to do that? Maybe mentioning that Maria sprained her ankle pretty badly during her match with Dulgheru, a fact that for whatever reason, was left out.
"Petkovic is only just making her move (her current ranking is 23), but that's partly because she chose to complete a university-level education in Germany before taking her chances on the pro tour. As the daughter of a teaching pro whose dreams of playing the tour were crushed, she not only understood the risks of trying to become a pro, she had them drilled into her. She practiced and played a bit while she was school, but didn't really fling herself into the tennis culture with the requisite commitment until around 2009."
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Where in the world did he get *this* origin story? Let me break it down for you:
- She never chose to pursue university instead of pro-tennis.
- She did not and has not completed a university-level education in Germany. She's still studying.
- As she never went to university, she did not in fact "practice and play a bit while she was in school."
- She *did* actually "fling herself into the tennis culture" before 2009.
How do I know this? Because I actually asked her about it in Melbourne. And I wrote it up. I even fact-checked! Like a real-live journalist!!! Which Pete's supposed to be!!!
Like...how in the world did he even come up with that story? If you go to the WTA website and look up Petko's profile, you can easily see with a few clicks of a mouse that she turned pro in 2006. If you were to keep clicking through you'd see that she was playing tournaments every year. How was she going to university at the same time?
So if the story is that she didn't "fling herself" into the tennis culture with the requisite commitment until 2009, wouldn't one want to ask why that was? Well, if one were the curious blogging type, one could just look at Ms. Petkovic's Wikipedia page and see that she tore her ACL in 2008 and was off the court for eight months. If one were to ask Ms. Petkovic actual investigative questions, one would have been told that in that eight months, she had to decide whether she still wanted to pursue a pro career or her studies.
I mean, the way Monsieur Bodo writes it Petko never took tennis all that seriously, had her nose in a book and did keg stands for four years, and then decided, "You know what? I'm going to try now."
That's not the story. That's not even close to the story.
Normally I would just let this shit go. Errors aside, his piece is a nice write-up of how she's taken over Miami. But if I have to sit on Twitter for a week as the established media publicly takes a shit on bloggers for deigning to be in their press room, calling us "fans with typewriters", then I'm going to start taking a closer look at the shit you write. If you're so much better than me and think you deserve to be the authoritative voices of the tennis community, prove it.
I may be a fan with a typewriter, but at least my typewriter has an ethernet connection so I can, like, Google shit.
(Pic: Forty Deuce)