Stuttgart. The Porsche-Tennis-Grand-Prix will celebrated its 30th anniversary with a star line-up never seen before in Germany. All the world’s Top 10, including superstars like Justine Henin, Serena Williams and, for the first time, Maria Sharapova, have confirmed their participation at the jubilee tournament. They will be competing in Stuttgart’s Porsche-Arena from 29 September to 7 October for a total of 650,000 dollars prize money and a Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet as the main prize. Of the world’s Top 20, 19 will be in the main draw.
“We’ll obviously be offering our spectators tennis of the highest order especially as it’s our anniversary,” said Tournament Director Markus Günthardt at the long established tournament’s press conference in Stuttgart. “We’re proud of the past 30 years and our tournament’s great tradition, but our concentration is focused fully on the present and the future.”
It is quite fitting that not only the established stars of the trade but also the spearhead of the new tennis generation will be playing in the Porsche-Arena. Above all Ana Ivanovic. The 19-year-old attractive Serb is the year’s biggest climber. She has performed convincingly this season, not only when winning the Berlin tournament but even more when she reaching the final of the French Open, where she succumbed to the current No 1 Justine Henin. On Wimbledon’s grass she reached the semifinals. Ivanovic is already ranked No 5 on the WTA Tour Ranking.
One of the players that may well provide the changing of the guard at the top of international women’s tennis in the near future is Anna Chakvetadze. The 20-year-old Russian is the current world No 6 and has already celebrated four tournament wins in 2007 – Hobart, S’-Hertogenbosch, Cincinnati and Stanford. The big breakthrough for 18-year-old Czech Nicole Vaidisova came when she went all the way to the semifinals of the 2007 Australian Open, where she was defeated by Serena Williams. Presently the world No 14 she will be looking to taking another step in Stuttgart on the road to breaking into the Top 10.
With a total of eight Grand Slam wins, Serena Williams will be the most successful player lining up at the Porsche-Tennis-Grand-Prix. The American, No 9 in the WTA Tour rankings, won not only the Australian Open, but also the tournament in Miami this year. Martina Hingis’ record includes five Grand Slam wins. The Swiss woman (No 17), who won the Porsche-Tennis-Grand-Prix in 1996 and 1997 as well as in 1999 and 2000, will play in Stuttgart for the first time since her successful comeback. Maria Sharapova will be making her Porsche-Tennis-Grand-Prix debut. The tennis diva from Russia, the current world No 2, won Wimbledon in 2004 and the US Open in 2006. This year she was the Australian Open runner-up and the winner in San Diego.
Six-time Grand Slam winner Justin Henin is no stranger to the Porsche-Tennis-Grand-Prix. After winning the French Open this year for the third time in succession and celebrating tournament wins in Dubai, Doha, Warschau, Eastbourne und Toronto, the Belgian wants to finally drive off the Center Court in the Porsche-Arena in the winner’s car. She has already appeared twice in the final: she lost against Lindsay Davenport in 2001 and to Kim Clijsters in 2003. The Serb Jelena Jankovic broke through to the world’s Top 10 for the first time in January 2007 and is ranked already No 3 after her successes in Auckland, Charleston, Rom and Birmingham.
Nadia Petrova was well-pleased with her new Porsche 911 Targa 4S after winning last year’s final against Tatiana Golovin at the premiere of the long established tournament in the Porsche-Arena: “Now I can finally drive as quick as I can serve.” Obviously the Russian (No 8), who won this year’s Paris indoor tournament, wants to successfully defend her title. Her countrywoman Svetlana Kuznetsova (No 4) dreams, on the other hand, of winning her first Porsche-Tennis-Grand-Prix. The 2004 US Open winner recently won her first tournament this year in New Haven.
The winner of the Porsche-Tennis-Grand-Prix can choose between 98,500 dollars prize money and a Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet.
The Porsche-Tennis-Grand-Prix 2007 begins on Saturday,
29 September, at 10.00 am (all times are local time) with qualifying. In addition to the qualifying matches, which start at 11.00 pm, the programme for Sunday, 30 September includes a spectacular opening show with artistes from the Europa Park Rust. The public drawing of the main draw will be incorporated in the show. Main draw matches will begin at 2.00 pm each day from Monday, 1 October onwards. The semifinals and final start one hour earlier at 1.00 pm. Eurosport and Eurosport 2 are expected to televise a total of 19 matches live.
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 the local box offices.