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

WTA

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

Published

on

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)

 

Latest news

Bianca Andreescu Reunites With Former Coach Ahead Of New Season 

How will the Grand Slam champion fair on the Tour with her latest mentor?

Published

on

BIANCA ANDREESCU OF CANADA - PHOTO: ALBERTO NEVADO / MMO

Former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu has brought a familiar face back into her team as she bids to return to her best form in 2023. 

 

Andreescu, who is currently ranked 45th in the WTA rankings, has appointed Christophe Lambert as her latest coach. Lambert had been working as the performance director at Tennis New Zealand and resigned from that position to work with the former US Open champion. He had also previously worked for Tennis Canada and during that time he was a private coach for Andreescu in 2016. 

“Bianca asked me to coach her and I accepted the job. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” Lambert told sport.co.nz. 

Lambert, who has also spent time working with the Chinese Davis Cup team and for the British LTA, has stayed in contact with Andreescu ever since coaching her six years ago. 

“It wasn’t like every week or every month. It’s always good to have people calling you when you are up, but when she was down I was checking on her and giving her my opinion.” He said. 

Andreescu had been working with Dutch coach Sven Groeneveld for over a year before they decided to end their collaboration in October. Groeneveld has a wealth of experience in the sport after working with a series of top names, including Maria Sharapova. 

This season the former world No.4 has won 20 out of 33 matches played with her best performance being a run to the final of the Bad Homburg Open in Germany. However, her record against top 10 opposition was 2-5.

“I’m just taking it day by day, and it’s a great way to end off the year as well, just bringing back all the emotions that fire a lot in me,” Andreescu recently told reporters in Glasgow at the Billie Jean King Cup. “I think I’m going to have a great preseason. Next year I really think I can crack the top 10 again.”

Andreescu, who has been hampered by injury issues in recent years, hasn’t won a singles title of any sort since 2019. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

Four-Time Grand Slam Winner Naomi Osaka Named In FTX Lawsuit 

The former world No.1 took an equity stake in the failed business earlier this year. 

Published

on

NAOMI OSAKA OF JAPAN - PHOTO: ALVARO DIAZ / MMO

Naomi Osaka is among a series of high-profile individuals who have been accused of using their celebrity status to promote FTX’s failed business model in a lawsuit filed against the cryptocurrency exchange. 

 

The BBC has reported that over one million people and businesses could be owed money following the collapse of FTX, according to bankruptcy filings. A week ago FTX collapsed into bankruptcy with its former boss Sam Bankman-Fried stepping down as CEO. A massive development in the financial for what was one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world that had the naming rights to a Formula One racing team as well as a sports arena in Miami.

According to the Associated Press, the company is being investigated by state and federal prosecutors over allegations it ‘invested depositors’ funds in ventures without their approval.’ In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, it argues that celebrity backers of FTX such as Osaka should be held just as accountable as Bankman-Fried as they brought ‘instant credibility’ to the company. 

“Part of the scheme employed by the FTX Entities involved utilizing some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment — like these Defendants — to raise funds and drive American consumers to invest … pouring billions of dollars into the deceptive FTX platform to keep the whole scheme afloat,” the lawsuit said.

Osaka took an equity stake in FTX in March where she would be receiving compensation in Crypto. Signing what was described as a ‘long-term partnership’ to become a global ambassador, the tennis star aimed to draw attention to women joining the platform and she played a role in directing its content.

“We have seen the statistics about how few women are part of crypto by comparison, which kind of mirrors the inequality we see in other financial markets,” Osaka said earlier this year.

Osaka, who has won 14 out of 23 matches played this season, has not made any public statement regarding the lawsuit. NFL quarterback Tom Brady, comedian Larry David and basketball team the Golden State Warriors are also defendants in the lawsuit.

Continue Reading

WTA

WTA Targets New Multi-Year Deal For Its Premier Event If Agreement With China Fails

Will the WTA Finals return to Shenzhen in 2023?

Published

on

WTA CEO Steve Simon

The WTA say they are not willing to compromise their principles concerning the possibility of hosting tournaments in China next year amid uncertainty over the future of their season-ending event. 

 

Steve Simon, who is the CEO of the women’s Tour, says he is hopeful that a resolution can be found with the country but has vowed now to back down on its stance. Last year the WTA suspended tournaments in China over concerns about the safety of former player Peng Shuai who accused a former government official of sexually assaulting her. 

Shuai disappeared shortly after posting her statement on social media before returning a few weeks later with photos and videos of her being posted online by journalists linked to the government-controlled media. There are concerns that the former doubles Grand Slam champion, who has not left her country since making those allegations, is being censored by the government. The WTA wants an investigation to be conducted into the matter. 

“We’ve made a strong stand, and we stand behind that stance, and we’re not going to compromise our principles,” Simon said during an interview with The New York Times. “Clearly when we did it, we understood eyes wide open what it could mean.”
“We’re still in the same place. If they come forward with something else we should look at, of course we are open to it. But we haven’t seen it so far. I’m hopeful we do find a resolution. That’s the goal, to find the right resolution. What’s the truth? Then we can move forward.” He added. 

Simon said he is confident that Shuai is safe in Beijing but he has not been able to make any direct contact with her, despite trying to on multiple occasions. A letter reportedly written by Shuai to the WTA was posted online in 2021 saying that she wishes to be left alone. However, many have doubted the authenticity of that letter with some fearing that she wrote it under duress. 

One of the biggest impacts of the fallout has involved the prestigious WTA Finals, which is a round-robin tournament featuring the eight best-performing players over the past 12 months. In 2018 a lucrative deal was agreed that paved the way for the event to be held in Shenzhen for 10 years. However, the event was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic before the next two additions were moved elsewhere.

Whilst the WTA is optimistic about a return to Shenzhen in 2023, there are also backup plans in the works. Simon confirmed that it is no longer feasible for the WTA Finals to be held in a location for just one year. So it is likely that the tournament would be held in a city for two or more years in a row if it doesn’t return to China next season. 

“We’re not going to continue to do these one-year decisions,” he said. “It’s not sustainable. If it looks like we can’t go back to China or aren’t ready to go back, then I do think we will carve out a multiyear situation, because we need to for the business.”

The case involving Shuai isn’t the only barrier for the WTA. China’s zero-covid policy has made hosting international events in the region unfeasible and the ATP cancelled all of their events in the tournament this year due to the situation. 

This year’s WTA Finals has a prize money offering of $5M which is more than half of what was on offer at the 2019 tournament in Shenzhen ($14M). 

Simon didn’t provide any deadline for when an agreement must be reached with China must be reached before the WTA considers moving their event elsewhere once again. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending