The wacky world of tennis

Editor's note: She opened the season with a flourish, reaching the semifinals in Brisbane, Australia (losing to Kim Clijsters), scored two singles wins in April's Fed Cup play for Germany and played her way into the Hertogenbosch final in The Netherlands before falling to Justine Henin.

She has substantial groundstrokes and is viewed as a potential top-10 player.

Still, there is much more to Andrea Petkovic, a charming 22-year-old who was born in Tuzla, Bosnia. She speaks German, French, English and Serbian and lists Goethe and Wilde as her favorite authors. Among her favorite things: actor Ed Norton, the band Bloc Party and, of course, eating at McDonalds.

You can find her wonderfully quirky Petkorazzi video excursions on YouTube and her website, www.andreapetkovic.de. Working for the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour at this year's tournament in Dubai, she toured the buffet at a players' party and described (in German) one dubious-looking dish as dog [expletive deleted].

ESPN.com asked her to blog from the U.S. Open in New York, which begins Monday. Andrea's first report:

Let me introduce myself first: My name is Andrea Petkovic, 22 years old and from Germany. Some of you may know me as Petkorazzi, but most of you might not know me at all and that's absolutely OK. Most likely for two reasons: I haven't yet played as well as let's say Kim Clijsters, and I'm not as hot as Maria Sharapova, which is OK as well. But hopefully I will get there somehow, someday. So in conclusion, there is actually no reason at all to let me write a blog for ESPN, except I'm really not too bad at it, writing, I mean.

So tennis players are strange. We have to set goals in whatever we do. Not only do we want to improve our game every day, but we also want to eat three bagels instead of two. I want to wake up one hour earlier tomorrow than I did today. I am going to finish reading my book today; I will write a book myself tomorrow -- well, I guess, you get what I'm trying to say. So my goal for this blog is to help you look right inside the bizarre life of a tennis player, which starts here at the U.S. Open.

When players arrive to New York, most of them have been already playing in the States for around four or more weeks, which brings them into a strange state of mind. The fact that the week before a Grand Slam, where everybody wants to play well and with all the pressure going on doesn't help, either. All tennis players live in a dream world far from reality, but this part of the year is probably the furthest reality. So if you ever get the chance, you should really come visit and watch the practices that are happening before the actual Grand Slam starts -- it's hilarious.

You can see racket throwing, screaming, fighting with the coach, fighting with the other players -- OK, I am talking about the women's practices right now. Can you imagine Rafa throwing a racket at uncle Toni? No, I can't, either. Or Roger screaming at Mirka to calm the kids because he can't get any sleep? No, not there. It sometimes seems like Rafa and Roger are like the Backstreet Boys or the president of the Unites States?

What I'm trying to say is as soon as Rafa shows up, the fans start screaming like little girls, even if they are grown men. I also like to call him the Nick Carter of the tennis tour. When Roger shows up, people just do not seem to be able to open their mouth anymore and start whispering.

Seems like tennis is not only getting to us players but also to the fans. What a weird sport. A sport that will make me write blogs for the upcoming days, so stay tuned!