37th Porsche Tennis Grand Prix attracts world class field to Stuttgart’s Porsche Arena - UBITENNIS
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37th Porsche Tennis Grand Prix attracts world class field to Stuttgart’s Porsche Arena

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TENNIS – “Play! Girls”: The motto of the 37th Porsche Tennis Grand Prix has, once again, enticed the world’s best women players to Stuttgart. Eight top ten players will be competing in the Porsche Arena for prize money totalling 710,000 US dollars and the Porsche 911 Targa 4S for the winner from 19 to 27 April 2014. The star line-up will include title-holder Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber, Porsche Team Germany’s No. 1.

 

“We’ve once again got a main draw field normally only seen at Grand Slams and our audiences are certain to watch tennis of the highest class this year too,” said Markus Günthardt. That so many top stars have decided to come to the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix is something he sees as being, “a compliment and big sign of the confidence they have in our tournament – and as a spur to get better and better.”

Russian Maria Sharapova will be returning to Stuttgart as the defending champion. The Porsche brand ambassador won the tournament in 2012 and 2013. Her opponent in last year’s final was the Chinese Li Na, who will come to Porsche Tennis Grand Prix as the current world No. 2 and the newly crowned Australian Open champion. She also heads the seedings. Other top ten players in Stuttgart are Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland), Simona Halep (Romania), Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic), Sara Errani (Italy), Jelena Jankovic (Serbia), the 2008 winner, and Angelique Kerber. Porsche Team Germany’s top player has already reached the final this year in Sydney and Doha. Her two great performances against Slovakia were crucial in helping Porsche Team Germany reach the Fed Cup semifinals for the first time since 1995. In addition to Maria Sharapova and Jelena Jankovic, two other former world No. 1s, Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) and Ana Ivanovic (Serbia), will also be in the line-up.

Hoping for a wild card

Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki is the second Porsche Team Germany player certain of a place in the main draw. Her teammates Andrea Petkovic, Annika Beck, Mona Barthel and Julia Görges, who won the 2011 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, are on the other hand hoping to be awarded one of the two wild cards. Anna-Lena Grönefeld is, especially after her win in Paris playing alongside Kveta Peschke, one of the favourites for the doubles – together with last year’s winning team of Sabine Lisicki/Mona Barthel.

Reach the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix main draw via qualifying and then gain invaluable experience for their careers when playing the world’s best is the aim of the sponsored players belonging to Porsche Talent Team Germany. The development curve is pointing upwards: whilst Anna-Lena Friedsam, the current German champion, Carina Witthöft and Antonia Lottner mainly collected important world ranking points on the ITF tournament circuit in 2013, Dinah Pfizenmaier caused a sensation last year at the French Open by reaching the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. The reward: she broke into the WTA world top 100.

Pete Sampras in the duel of the legends

Tennis history will come alive in the Porsche Arena on the opening day of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix when Pete Sampras and Carlos Moyá face each other in the Berenberg Classics, an eagerly awaited duel of the legends – on Easter Monday, 21 April. “It’s a further highlight for our spectators to look forward to,” said Tournament Director Markus Günthardt. “We are proud to be able to present a tennis legend like Pete Sampras.” The American won 14 Grand Slam titles during the course of his career and stood 286 weeks at the top of the world rankings.

Ticket info: tickets for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, which begins on 19 April 2014 in Porsche Arena, Stuttgart – Germany, with the qualifying tournament, can be booked by phoning Easy Ticket Service on +49 (0) 711 / 2 55 55 55 or via internet at www.easyticket.de (Simone Kemler/Porsche Tennis)

 

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Rebecca Peterson beats Heather Watson in Tianjin final to claim her second career title

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Rebecca Peterson clinched her second career title after beating Heather Watson 6-4 6-4 in the final of the Tianjin Open.

 

The Swedish player claimed her second title on Chinese soil after winning her maiden WTA maiden title in Nanchang. Earlier this week Peterson beat Venus Williams in the opening round.

Watson entered the Tianjin Open with just one WTA-level win in the opening round at Wimbledon. The British player beat Wang Qiang and Bronx champion Magda Linette en route to the final in Tianjin.

The final between Peterson and Watson was moved to an indoor facility after a five-hour delay due to rain.

Peterson rallied from 0-2 down in both sets en route to winning the final 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 37 minutes. The Swede converted on four of her ten break points.

Watson fended off two break points and earned a break in the next game to take a 2-0 lead. Peterson converted her fourth break-back point chance in the third game. Both players stayed neck and neck to draw level to 4-4.

Peterson earned another break in the ninth game when Watson sent her backhand drive volley wide. Peterson sealed the opening set 6-4 with a forehand down the line winner in the 10th game.

Watson held at love in the first game of the second set and broke serve in the second game. Peterson got the break back in the third game and took the lead with another break with a forehand down the line winner. The Swedish player held her next three service games and closed out the match with a forehand winner in the 10th game.

Thanks to this win Peterson will break into the top 50 reaching her career high of 44 in the WTA Ranking. Former world number 38 Watson will make her return in the top 100.

 

 

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Coco Gauff claims her maiden WTA title in Linz at the age of 15

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Fifteen year-old US rising star Coco Gauff claimed the maiden WTA title of her career beating former Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 1-6 6-2 in the final of the Upper Austria Ladies in Linz (Austria).

 

Gauff crowned a remarkable week, in which she came back from losing the final qualifying round to win the first title of her carerer as a lucky loser. Earlier this week the US teenager claimed her first-ever top 10 win over Dutch star Kiki Bertens in her first WTA quarter final.

Gauff saved two break points in her opening service game, before breaking serve in the third game. She consolidated the break with an ace to open up a 3-0 lead. Ostapenko won her first game with a backhand down the line. Gauff did not face any more break points in the next games and earned a set point at 5-3 with an ace and hit a backhand slice to close out the opening set.

Ostapenko saved a break point in the first game of the second set with a forehand down the line before breaking serve for the first time at love. Gauff broke straight back in the next game, but Ostapenko hit a volley to get another break for 3-1. The Latvian player built up a 5-1 lead with a double break and sealed the second set with an ace on her first set point to force the match to the third set.

Gauff claimed an early break at the start of the third set to take a 2-0 lead after a backhand forced an error from Ostapenko on break point. Gauff went up a double break to race out to a 4-0 lead and earned two match points at 5-0. Ostapenko got one break back at love in the seventh game to claw her way back to 2-5. Gauff earned a third match point after Ostapenko netted a backhand and sealed the win, as Ostapenko fired a forehand long.

Gauff is projected to reach the top 75 of the WTA Ranking on Monday after starting her season ranked world number 600. She has become the youngest singles champion since Nicole Vaidisova lifted titles at Vancouver and Tashkent at the age of 15 in 2004.

Gauff is the second player in the last two seasons to win a maiden WTA singles season as a lucky loser equalling teenager Olga Danilovic, who won the Moscow Open last year.

 

 

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Tennis Sensation Bianca Andreescu Signs With Rolex

The Canadian has joined forces with the luxury watch brand

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US Open champion Bianca Andreescu has become the latest athlete to join the Rolex family after confirming she has signed a deal with the brand on Saturday.

 

The 19-year-old has enjoyed a breakout year by winning 42 out of 47 matches played. During that period she has won premier titles in Indian Wells and at the Rogers Cup. Although her biggest trophy occurred at the US Open where she stunned Serena Williams in the final. Becoming the youngest grand slam champion since Maria Sharapova back in 2006. Andreescu has also recorded  eight wins over top 10 players with her only loss being to Naomi Osaka at the China Open last week.

“Excited to announce that I’m officially a part of the Rolex family!! Can’t wait to get to work with the Rolex Team – stay tuned.” She wrote on Twitter.

No details have been released about her deal with Rolex or what the value of the contract is. The luxury brand also have contracts with other players such as Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki. Speculation has been mounting that the Canadian would be signing a substantial endorsement deal following comments made by her agent agent Jonathan Dasnières de Veigy. She is currently managed by Octagon Sports.

“We’re turning down a lot of opportunities and offers. We want to be careful and extremely selectively, to do the right partnerships.” de Veigy told The Globe and Mail.
“First and foremost, we want to ensure that Bianca is at the peak of her game as a professional athlete. Our job is to keep her life as simple as possible, so she can focus on tennis.” He added.

As of October 6th Andreescu has earned the second highest amount of prize money this year on the WTA Tour with earnings of $6,239,150. This is just under $650,000 less than world No.1 Ash Barty. The sums takes into account both singles and doubles tournaments played on the tour.

Andreescu is set to return to action at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen. A tournament which will have a record prize money pool of $14 million. The winner of the event could make as much as $4.75 million should they remain unbeaten in the round-robin competition. Andreescu is the youngest player to qualify for the season-ending event since Wozniacki back in 2009 and the fourth Canadian woman in history to have ever done so.

“This has been an incredible year for me and I’m really looking forward to ending the season at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen,” she told wtatennis.com. “I’ve always dreamt of competing at the WTA Finals and I’m so proud of all the work my team and I put in to get to this point.”

The WTA Finals will get underway on October 27th.

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