Stuttgart. The Porsche-Tennis-Grand-Prix will celebrate its premiere in the new Porsche-Arena with a top class main draw field. Of the top eight world ranked players, six will be appearing in Stuttgart. In doing so they will not only be competing from 30 September to 8 October for prize money totalling 650,000 dollars but also for the main prize, the new Porsche 911 Targa 4S.
"We will be offering our audience world class tennis of the highest order," said Tournament Director Markus Günthardt, "and off-court there’ll be many new events and activities so that visits to the tournament will be an experience for the whole family."
The Porsche-Tennis-Grand-Prix entry list is headed by Amélie Mauresmo. Last year’s finalist is currently the world No 1 and won the Grand Slam tournaments in Melbourne and Wimbledon this year. Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne (No 2) was victorious at the French Open in Paris. She has twice previously (2001 and 2003) stood in the final of the Porsche-Tennis-Grand-Prix. The Grand Slam winners will be up against tough competition in Russians Svetlana Kuznetsova, who has fought her way up to fifth place in the WTA world rankings after a tournament win in Miami and an appearance in the French Open final, Elena Dementieva (No 6) and Nadia Petrova (No 7). Elena Dementieva won the Tokyo and Los Angeles WTA tournaments this year and reached the quarter finals in Wimbledon. Nadia Petrova won in Doha, Amelia Island, Charleston and Berlin and was an Australian Open quarterfinalist.
Of the top eight world ranked players, of whom the Swiss woman Patty Schnyder (quarterfinalist at the Australian Open) will also be lining up, only Maria Sharapova and Kim Clijsters will be missing in the Porsche-Arena. The two-time winner of the Porsche-Tennis-Grand-Prix (2002 and 2003) has been forced to pull out after suffering a wrist injury before the US Open at the Montreal tournament.
Strong opposition is also expected to come from Russians Dinara Safina (No 11) and Anastasia Myskina (No 13). A much loved old faithful at the Porsche-Tennis-Grand-Prix will be the Frenchwoman Mary Pierce (No 18). The WTA Tour’s Grande Dame won the tournament back in 1993. Serb Jelena Jankovic (No 17) will want to latch onto her great performances at the US Open where she was only beaten in the semifinals by Justine Henin-Hardenne. Her countrywoman Ana Ivanovic (No 15) won the Montreal tournament in August. With Acapulco winner Anna-Lena Grönefeld (No 16) in the line up, Germany’s top woman player at the moment will also be playing in Stuttgart. The spectators in the Porsche-Arena can be as equally excited about at seeing her as they can Venus and Serena Williams, the power-sisters from the USA.
The winner of the Porsche-Tennis-Grand-Prix can choose between 98,000 dollars prize money and a Porsche 911 Targa 4S.
The Porsche-Tennis-Grand-Prix 2006 begins on Saturday, 30 September, at 10.00 am local time with qualifying. In addition to the qualifying matches on the programme for Sunday, 1 October, there will be an opening show including the public drawing of the main draw singles pairings. Main draw matches will begin at 1.00 pm local time each day from Monday, 2 October onwards. Eurosport and Eurosport 2 will televise live a total of 18 matches. Tickets for the Porsche-Tennis-Grand-Prix are only available from the Easy Ticket Service – either by telephone on +49 (0) 711 – 2555 555, in Internet at www.easyticket.de or at more than 30 local box offices in Baden-Württemberg.