Call it an existential crisis, midlife crisis, mid-career crisis… whatever Andrea Petkovic went through at the end of last season is well behind her, the German has confirmed.
Petkovic, who eased past tricky Italian Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-1 in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships first round on Monday, came dangerously close to quitting the sport at the end of last season.
She was struggling to silence the voices in her head that told her there was more to life out there than the game she loved and her 6-0, 6-0 defeat to Carla Suarez Navarro in Zhuhai that bookended her season certainly did not help.
The ever-charismatic Petkovic, who rose to fame not just for her great tennis that saw her land in the top-10 more than once but also for her on-court Petko-dance moves and witty rhetoric in the press room and on social media, was unhappy and felt like she no longer wanted to be on the tour.
Her mother had fallen ill as well and had surgery while the German was playing a tournament in Asia, which compounded her misery.
"I usually loathe playing her".. Petko says it like it is. She was 0-3 H2H v Giorgi but has now beaten her in their last 2 meetings— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) February 15, 2016
The German breezed into the second round in Dubai in the most commanding of fashion, dropping just the single game against Kuznetsova.
Goerges will now play the winner of Barbora Strycova vs Tsvetana Pironkova, who play on Tuesday.
"It's very satisfying to see a performance like this today," said Goerges after her victory.
"I like Dubai. I've done a lot of pre-seasons here and the courts suit my game. It really forgives you some balls where you don't hit it in the middle.
"Overall, I can say I'm very satisfied today."
Andrea Petkovic broke six times to start her week at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Monday with a 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Italian Camila Giorgi as the German winner ended a two-match loss streak.
Petkovic could face new world number nine Bencic in the next round if she beats former number one Jelena Jankovic in the opening round.
"I'm very happy with how I played, I've worked hard over the past few weeks to be ready here and I was able to translate good training onto the match court," Petkovic said.
"All the work paid off, things are coming together for me."
"I didn't have the best head-to-head against her, but I'm finding the balance between consistency and going all out for your shots, coming in on the short ball - I think I did that quite well today.”