Porsche and the WTA
The premiere was a step into the future. In moving to the newly-built Porsche Arena in Stuttgart’s NeckarPark, a new era began for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in 2006. Another step into a successful future was the change of surface to clay in 2009. The time-honoured Stuttgart tournament has duly mastered the new challenge.
The world’s best tennis players have been coming to the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix ever since 1978. As the most loyal sponsor within international women’s tennis, Porsche has accompanied Europe’s oldest women’s indoor tournament right from the very beginning. At the premiere in Filderstadt, America’s Tracy Austin, a 15-year-old teenager with plaits and braces, advanced to become the crowd favourite and embark on a brilliant career when she overcame Holland’s Betty Stove in the final. In 2002, Porsche intensified its involvement with the world-renowned tournament and also took on the role as organiser.
As far as tennis is concerned, the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix is a top highlight on the WTA Tour. Virtually all the top stars come to Stuttgart every year. The quality of the field is regularly of a Grand Slam level. The players feel very much at home in Stuttgart and so much so that they voted the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix as their favourite event in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015. And the Women’s Tennis Association’s officials also appreciate the support given them by the successful Stuttgart automobile manufacturer. In 2004 Porsche was distinguished with the “Long Time Contribution Award” in recognition of the company’s long-standing involvement as a sponsor and partner of the sport.
“For me, Stuttgart is without question a flagship event on the Tour and Porsche is a perfect example of a partner that has truly invested in tennis. It has a long tradition. There’s an obvious love of the game,” said the new WTA President Steve Simon. Another very welcome guest and one that has been coming to Stuttgart for many years, Laura Ceccarelli, the WTA Supervisor, added “Porsche is a fantastic partner and the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix has for many years not only been one of the best tournaments worldwide but also one of the most innovative. It is so well organised that many people around the world can learn from it which is why we regularly invite organisers to Stuttgart. We always all really look forward to returning to the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix as a guest.”