In the end, Andrea Petkovic’s emotions finally broke: touched and grateful, she waved to the crowd after her farewell match in front of her home crowd. The 3,500 spectators on the sold-out Spielbank Bad Homburg Centre Court had long since risen to their feet and gave a prolonged ovation. A standing ovation for a popular figure, a head of character – and a very special personality.

“I’m still one of the fittest tennis grannies in the world”.

Tears flowed for “Petko,” who officially ended her professional career last September. A little later, however, the 35-year-old had regained her composure: “The tennis world is spinning insanely fast. I didn’t expect it to be so full. It was insanely nice,” said the former world number nine after the “Petko & Friends powered by FERI” exhibition, in the second part of which she competed in doubles with Angelique Kerber against Anna-Lena Friedsam and women’s team captain Rainer Schüttler. First, Petkovic had won a match tiebreak against Friedsam.

For Wimbledon champion and Bad Homburg Open tournament ambassador Kerber, it was her first major appearance on court since the birth of her daughter in February. “I was absolutely delighted when Angie came in. I knew she was going all out to be here on the court,” said Petkovic, who once again had the laughs on her side at the subsequent press conference. “I’m still one of the fittest tennis grannies in the world!” No argument there!

Last but not least, Kerber found touching words for her long-time companion: “I could always count on Petko!” In the direction of her former teammate, “Angie” added: “I take my hat off to your achievements. We will miss you, I especially.”

Lisicki is struggling with “pitch-black day” – Ten aces not enough for victory

Tennis fans also witnessed plenty of emotion afterwards when former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki lost 6-3, 1-6, 5-7 to ninth-seeded Anna Blinkova despite leading 4-1 in the deciding set. “I just had a really bad day today and never really got into it. It’s such a shame because I like this tournament so much,” said the wildcard holder, who reached the quarterfinals at Kurpark last year. Lisicki managed ten aces, but Blinkova kept her nerve after 1:54 hours and converted her first match point.

On Monday, the German number one and two will be in action at the Bad Homburg Open presented by Engel & Völkers: Last year’s Wimbledon semi-finalist Tatjana Maria, who narrowly missed out on the title at the WTA event in Gaiba, Italy, on Sunday (6:3, 4:6; 5:7 against Ashlyn Krueger), will play the newly-crowned French Open winner and world number one Iga Swiatek in the “Match of the Day” at 6:00 pm. Already in the second match after 12.00 p.m. Anna-Lena Friedsam will face the Egyptian Mayar Sherif, who is ranked fourth in the spa town.

Further information on the draw, player portraits and key data on the tournament can be found here.