“The world’s best indoor tournament”
The move from Filderstadt to Stuttgart in 2006 marked the beginning of a new era for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Since then, spectators in the Porsche Arena have been able to watch all the game’s top stars live plus exciting and hard-fought matches – initially on a hard court and then on clay from 2009.
1 - 2008: The Williams sisters – family gathering in the Porsche Arena
Serena and Venus Williams’ first joint visit to the Porsche Arena. She wins the second 6-1 and runs out a 6-4 winner in the third. What a rude awakening for the great Serena Williams. Family honour was saved by sister Venus who at least reached the semi-final where she lost to the eventual winner Jelena Jankovic. Honorary guest Larry Scott, CEO and Chairman of the WTA, is thrilled by what he has seen in Stuttgart: “The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix is the world’s best indoor tournament.”
2 - 2010: Justine Henin wins with a wild card
It had never happened before at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix – Justin Henin is the first player to win the tournament with a wild card. For the seven-time Grand Slam winner, who surprised everybody by retiring in 2008 as the reigning world No. 1 and then only returned to the WTA Tour before the 2010 Australian Open, it is her first title after coming back. The Belgian, whose one-handed backhand was described by John McEnroe as “the most beautiful shot there is in tennis”, had previously won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix back in 2007.
Dream final in the Porsche Arena – and Julia Görges serves up the big Easter surprise: In a high-class match on Easter Sunday, the 22-year old German defeats Caroline Wozniacki, the world No. 1 from Denmark 7-6 (3), 6-3. She is only the second German winner after Anke Huber (1991, 1994). Replying to the question about what she is most looking forward to, she says, “My nephew’s christening and, after three months on tour, to finally sleep in my own bed again.” A German quartet also impress in the Porsche Arena as Andrea Petkovic, Sabine Lisicki, Kristina Barrois and Julia Görges all reach the quarterfinals – a feat last achieved in 1984 when Steffi Graf, Claudia Kohde, Eva Pfaff and Bettina Bunge filled four last eight berths.
4 - 2012: Maria Sharapova honours Stuttgart with her presence
She came, saw and was victorious – the motto overrides Maria Sharapova’s first appearance in the Porsche Arena. The superstar from Russia has the crowd spellbound right from her first serve. At the fifth attempt, she comes out a 6-1, 6-4 winner to depart Stuttgart with 115,000 dollars prize money and a Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet – and the promise to defend her title in 2013.
5 - 2013: Successful title-defence
No film director could have staged this final any better – Maria Sharapova against Na Li, the No. 1 seed against the No. 2. Previously during the tournament week, Maria Sharapova is presented as a new Porsche Brand Ambassador. Her answer shoots out like a forehand top-spin volley hit on the run – “There’s always enough space for a Porsche.” Her shots are just as precise in the final when beating Na Li 6-4, 6-3.
6 - 2014: Ana Ivanovic wins over the hearts
In an enthralling and high-class final, Maria Sharapova wins the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix for the third time in succession to equal the legendary Martina Navratilova – the American also won three in a row from 1986 to 1988. She wins over the hearts of the Stuttgart crowd whose thunderous applause for their “winner” at the victory ceremony moves the Serb to tears. “I’m overwhelmed,” she says struggling to keep her composure, “I just didn’t expect it. Thanks Stuttgart.”
Apr 22, 2020 at 19:07