March 19, 2012

Sensational main draw field: 19 Top 20 players at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

New record at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix - 19 of the Top 20 players on the WTA world rankings will be appearing in Stuttgart’s Porsche Arena at the 35th edition of the long-standing tournament from 21-29 April. For the first time ever, superstar Maria Sharapova
will also be in the hunt for prize money totalling 740,000 dollars and the Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet for the winner. Porsche Team Germany’s Fed Cup tie against Australia and the duel between the tennis legends John McEnroe and Pat Cash are further highlights.

“The sensational field with all the Top 10 players is a dream,” said Tournament Director Markus Gunthardt. “We’re therefore certain to be the tournament with the best main draw field on the WTA Tour.”

Victoria Azarenka will be returning to Stuttgart as the new world number one. The Belarusian celebrated the biggest success of her career in January when winning the Australian Open. Another favourite to win the tournament is Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic. The Most Improved Player of 2011 took the titles in Wimbledon and at the WTA Championships. Last year’s runner-up and former world No. 1, Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) is another top 10 player in the line up in the Porsche Arena. Not forgetting Germany’s Andrea Petkovic who is hoping to make a return in Stuttgart after a long injury break.

Germany’s top players will be looking to present themselves as a force to be reckoned with on home soil, especially last year’s winner Julia Gorges. The member of the Porsche Team Germany recently reached the final of the tournament in Dubai which moved her up to No. 15. Spectators in the Porsche Arena can also look forward to Sabine Lisicki (No. 13) and Angelique Kerber (No. 14), who secured the first WTA title of her career in Paris in February and who sensationally reached the semifinals of the million dollar tournament in Indian Wells last week. After her great performance, she is now ranked a career high No. 14.

Four Germans definitely in the main draw of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix – the last time it happened was in 1992 when Anke Huber, Wiltrud Probst, Veronika Martinek and Barbara Rittner were direct acceptances. With two wild cards still to be awarded by the tournament, the number could well rise to six.

Before play starts in earnest at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, the members of the Porsche Team Germany will get some serious match 'practice' as they will be battling to stay in the World Group in their Fed Cup play-off tie against Australia in the Porsche Arena on 21 and 22 April. However, Porsche Team Germany’s second appearance in Stuttgart is not the only highlight that tennis fans at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix can look forward to. The Berenberg Bank Classics on the Centre Court in the Porsche Arena on Monday, April 23 (play starts at 5.30 PM local time) will include an historical exhibition match between the tennis legends John McEnroe and Pat Cash.

Visitors to the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix are traditionally offered a multitude of activities between the matches and off-court in the Porsche Arena and the Schleyerhalle. In the attractive Sport and Lifestyle Village, a boulevard and an attractive mixture of sport and entertainment will ensure a day of tennis in Stuttgart will turn into an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

The world class tournament, where the most important matches will be televised live on Eurosport and Eurosport 2, will begin with qualifying on Saturday, April 21. This year’s schedule includes a major change to the order of play on finals day on Sunday, April 29. In contrast to the previous years, the singles final will begin later at 6.30 PM local time. It will be preceded by the doubles final at 2.30 PM.


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