CHARLESTON, South Carolina — Andrea Petkovic ended a surprising week at the Family Circle Cup by winning her first WTA tournament in three years, outlasting Jana Cepelova for a 7-5, 6-2 victory Sunday.
Petkovic was once ranked ninth in the world before several injuries slowed her progress and cost her much of the 2012 season. She entered this one seeded 14th, ranked 40th in the world and with few expectations about her first clay-court event of the season.
Instead, Petkovic’s powerful forehand and grind-it-out mindset helped her oust three straight top 10 seeds in No. 4 Sabine Lisicki, No. 9 Lucie Safarova and No. 6 Eugenie Bouchard on the way to the finals.
The 26-year-old German used that same formula against Cepelova, a rising 20-year-old from Slovakia competing in her first WTA final.
“I still have a long way to go for me and I have a lot of potential,” Petkovic said. “But I feel I’m on the right track.”
Cepelova led 5-4 and was a point away from capturing the first set. But Petkovic rallied to win that game and begin a run of eight in a row to take control of the match.