Wednesday July 18th, 2012

Yesterday we were treated with pictures of Andrea Petkovic practicing without heavy ankle braces on some clay courts in Germany, signaling a possible return at next week's London Olympics. As it turns out, Petkovic, a former top 10 player, who has fallen to No. 18 due to injury, took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce her withdrawal from the Olympics.

With that there will be no Petko-Dance at the London Olympics. "Sad face," as the kids would say.

The early withdrawal is a class move from Petkovic, who has played only three matches since being diagnosed with a stress fracture in her back in January. At 24 years old, who knows if she'll get another Olympic chance at Rio in 2016, and I have to think the temptation was strong to at least get to London and give it a try. Best case scenario she wins a few matches and begins her comeback. Worst case scenario she loses in the first round but still gets to participate in what is the biggest athlete-frat party in the world.

So big sportsmanship points to the first of what turned out to be a long line of "New Generation Germans". After all, before there was Angelique Kerber there was Petkovic, who was the first German to crack the top 10 since Anke Huber (2000). She's also the one who trained with Kerber and famously told the world in Cincinnati last year to watch out for her compatriot. A few weeks later, Kerber was into the semifinals of the U.S. Open.

So happy healing, Petko. But to quote Feliciano Lopez... Petkovic wasn't the only one to confirm her withdrawal on Wednesday. Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, who won Brisbane, Estoril and made the quarterfinals of Roland Garros in May, is also ruled out due to a heel injury.

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