After Andrea Petkovic's 2015 season came to a bitter close with a 6-0, 6-0 loss and a left knee injury, the German revealed a lot about how she's been feeling while on tour recently, as well as her struggles both personally and professionally. She opened up about the times when she questioned -- and still continues to question -- whether or not she was meant to become a professional tennis player in the first place.
During her post-match press conference, Petkovic was more emotional than usual. She was close to tears during her 51-minute encounter with Carla Suárez Navarro -- where she was double bageled -- but held them in. But when talking to the press, the German broke down in tears, which she says has been because of all of her difficulties this year, both on and off the court.
"It's just been the past two or three months, I just sort of lost the passion for tennis," Petkovic said through her tears to the media and the WTA Insider. "When I was at home I was feeling really happy. And the minute I went on tour, I just sort of felt depressed. Really depressed in a way that I didn't want to get out of bed at all."
Earlier this year, Petkovic's mother, Amira Petkovic, fell ill and the German struggled to find a balance between her personal and professional life.
"It was a difficult year for my family," Petkovic said. "I wanted to be at home. But because I'm a professional and I'm German, I still went and did all the practices and everything I had to do. It wasn't like I just didn't do it. I wasn't going to just play the matches. I still practiced three hours a day. I still did my gym, I still did my workouts, I still did my fitness, I still went to the physios every day. I was still being professional with all this inside of me. It just felt like torture. Every minute of it."
Petkovic's sadness got to a point where she questioned whether or not she was meant to become a professional tennis player or something completely different. These thoughts have circulated the 28-year-old's head for quite some time now, and she has begun to question whether or not she should hang up her racquet yet.
"I was sort of questioning the tennis thing," said a very raw and emotional Petkovic. "I felt like maybe this was really the year for me to figure out if I want to play tennis because there are so many other things that I enjoy doing. I feel like somehow this was the first year I felt like I was losing time [playing tennis]. And it's so strange because I've never felt that. Tennis was always something I chose and something I wanted to do and this year not so much anymore."
"I really have to figure out if I want to keep playing."
"I feel like if I had done something else I would have been maybe better at it. Now I feel like I've lost all that time on tennis. It's super stupid but I just have to figure it out. I don't even have something, like I'm a super great drawer. Like I'm a super great writer and if I would have started a book at 17 and at 28 I would have been a Pulitzer Prize winner by now. It's not even like I have something like that in myself. It's just a feeling. It's stupid."
"There are always things that you don't particularly like about your job -- that's normal," she said. "But the balance wasn't right anymore. I hated more parts of it than I enjoyed the others. Maybe it's actually good that the results didn't come and it didn't hide anything anymore. Now I really have to figure stuff out. That's probably a good thing."
Given all of her struggles with choosing between her family or her professional career, Petkovic did as much as she could to keep her family, as well as herself happy. Some might ask... Why didn't she decide to take a break when all of this was happening?
"That would have been the right choice and the smart choice," Petkovic said. "But there's just this German guilt issue, this collective guilt issue, where I cannot act against my principles and my principles are to act as professionally as I can until the end. And that's why I kept playing."
Ever since her surprising and alarming comments about her future as a professional tennis player on Wednesday, there has been plenty of support for Petkovic -- something she really appreciates from her fan base nicknamed "Petkorazzis".
"They shouldn't be worrying too much," she said. "I won't be gone and never come back. It just might take me a little bit of time now."
"It's really nice to see, especially the fans that have been around, I can see them on Twitter. They really stick with me through the good and the bad times. It's really good to see and that helps. Hopefully I can figure some things out."