Porsche’s commitment represents an appealing way to bridge tradition and modernity. The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix is the oldest indoor tournament on the WTA tour, and it is also currently the only indoor tournament on clay. The WTA players voted it their favorite tournament on the tour in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014. Superstar Maria Sharapova, who serves as an ambassador for the Porsche brand, has won the Grand Prix the last three years in a row. The list of winners features legendary names in women’s tennis, including Tracy Austin, Martina Navratilova, Gabriela Sabatini, Mary Pierce, and Martina Hingis.
“Everything has to be Porsche, which means of the highest quality,” says tournament director Markus Günthardt. A former Swiss tennis pro, he has guided the course of the tournament for the past ten years, with the help of athletic director Anke Huber, a two-time winner of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix herself. Günthardt never tires of examining and enhancing aspects of the tournament. The company’s home grounds have proven to be an unparalleled place to play.
The modern Porsche Arena offers superb technical facilities that enable the tournament to become a major event. An enormous screen, videos, and light shows make the presentation of the players into an experience also valued by the athletes themselves. Monitors are set up everywhere to enable visitors to follow the action at all times. Between matches they can also visit the “Sport & Lifestyle Village” to shop or have a coffee. While doing so they can enjoy watching the stars during training sessions.
Porsche exhibits a great fondness for sports in many areas, but nowhere is the company’s philosophy as evident as at the Porsche Arena, where the best of the best battle across the net for a Porsche sports car. Ana Ivanovic, the smart Serbian, lost her battle last year. But on center court, amid thunderous applause from the spectators, her disappointment quickly turned into courage. “I’m already looking forward to returning next year,” she said. And for our part: a very warm welcome to you!
By Reiner Schloz
Photos by Fotostudio Orel