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Angelique Kerber: “We’re not the top favourites but we’ll be battling for every point”

Angelique Kerber heads Porsche Team Germany at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

Porsche Team Germany will contest the Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas Finals in Prague from 1 to 6 November with a mixture of experienced players and promising youngsters. The team’s number one is the Porsche Brand Ambassador Angelique Kerber.

Alongside Angelique Kerber, the national coach Rainer Schüttler has also nominated Andrea Petkovic and Anna-Lena Friedsam plus the Porsche Talent Team’s Nastasja Schunk and Jule Niemeier for Porsche Team Germany which qualified for Prague by beating Brazil in February 2020. The inaugural finals of the former Fed Cup will be played as a round robin tournament with 12 teams divided up into four groups.

Having made 17 appearances since 2007 after first being picked for the doubles in the comfortable 4-1 win against Croatia in the World Group II quarterfinals on 21/22 April, Andrea Petkovic is Porsche Team Germany’s most experienced player. This year she secured her second WTA doubles title in Nur-Sultan/Kazakhstan – the first came together with Mona Barthel at the 2019 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

She however feels that Porsche Team Germany is not chanceless: With Angie and myself, we’ve got two players capable of causing an upset. Angie has had an excellent second half to the season and I’ve also had a pretty good year. We want to go a long way and reckon we’re in with a good chance. But we’re well aware that we’ve been drawn in the toughest group.

“Jule and Nasti have had a fantastic summer”

Nastasja Schunk and Jule Niemeier are both making their Porsche Team Germany debuts at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals. Supported in the Porsche Talent Team where they are prepared for a career as a professional player, the promising youngsters have recommended themselves for a place in the team captained by Rainer Schüttler. The 18-year-old Nastasja Schunk celebrated the biggest success of her fledgling career when reaching this year’s Wimbledon juniors final. At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, she got a taste of WTA life for the first time and then reached the quarterfinals of the WTA tournament in Karlsruhe, Germany. Her four-year older teammate Jule Niemeier made it all the way to the semifinals at the WTA tournaments in Hamburg and Strasbourg.

Porsche Team Germany will be up against tough opponents right away in the group phase in Prague’s O2 Arena. The hosts have won the unofficial world team championship title in women’s tennis six times since 2011 – in the 2014 final against Porsche Team Germany which included Angelique Kerber and Andrea Petkovic. With the reigning French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova and her fellow Tokyo Olympics doubles gold medallist, Katerina Siniakova, in the team, they will still have two of the world’s best in action.

The Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas Finals

The inaugural finals will be played in a new format with 12 top teams divided up into four groups in Prague from 1 to 4 November. Group A: France, Russia (Russian Tennis Federation), Canada, Group B: Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Group C: USA, Spain, Slovakia, Group D. Porsche Team Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland. The group winners will qualify for the semifinals on 5 November where Group A and C’s top teams will face each other as will the Group B and Group D winners. The final will be played on 6 November.

Porsche in tennis

In the last vote to take place, the tournament in Stuttgart’s Porsche Arena was chosen by the players as their favourite event in its category. Within the scope of its global partnership with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), Porsche is also the title partner of the “Porsche Race to the WTA Finals”, the official qualifying ranking for the WTA Finals. As a premium partner of the “Deutsche Tennis Bund” (DTB – German Tennis Association), the company supports Porsche Team Germany in the Billie Jean King Cup (formerly the Fed Cup) and fosters up-and-coming players in the Porsche Talent Team and the Porsche Junior Team.

Original article

Oct 30, 2021 at 12:34


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