The latest edition of the BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games ended in a surprisingly anti-climatic fashion on Sunday, as Andrea Petkovic was handed the title via walkover when he opponent Carla Suárez Navarro was forced to withdraw ahead of the match with a neck injury.
“I woke up in the morning and just felt this pain in my neck,” the Spanish No.1 told reporters. “I went to the physio to get treatment and tried to play at 11:30, then had physio again and tried to play again at 2:15, and I just couldn’t serve. I couldn’t play like I wanted. So I had to pull out of this final.
“I’m really sorry. I love this tournament and I had a great week. I really tried today.”
However, the tournament was not over yet, as Tournament Director Kim Clijsters stepped in to save the final for the paying customers in attendance, and faced Petkovic in a short exhibition match. The four-time Grand Slam champion eventually defeated the German 5-3 with some impressive shot making.
While she lost the match, Petkovic has now lifted another of the biggest titles of her career. She won her first Premier-level event last season and now holds 6 WTA titles overall.
“Right before we went on court I was warming up and they told me the news. At first I was very shocked because I didn’t know anything about her physical pain and the blockage. But secondly I was sad. I really like Carla – she’s a great person and always friendly and positive, and she has a tremendous amount of talent. Also, you can never really enjoy the win when you don’t fight for it.
“So I’m happy I had a great week and I’m leaving as the champion, but definitely mixed emotions.”