Stuttgart. Ten years on from her sensational win at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and six months on from retiring as a professional tennis player, Julia Görges is back in the Porsche Arena in a new role.
Julia Görges has well and truly embraced her new life after hanging up her tennis rackets. ‟Everything is far more relaxed than when I was on the Tour. Back then, my life basically involved packing suitcases, travelling, stress, jetlag and the like,” she says. She never felt really at home anywhere. It has all changed now: ‟I enjoy coming home and sleeping in my own bed. It’s something very special for me.”
The fact that she will have to make do with a hotel bed once again during the tournament week is something, she is happy to put up with. At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, she will be out and about in a new role, and the Porsche Brand Ambassador is full of anticipation. Working for the tournament’s social media channels, she will meet up with her former fellow players and therefore get close to Barty, Kerber and co. ‟I’m really looking forward to the job and hope the players also have fun when I’m interviewing them. We want to entertain the fans and give them interesting insights into the stars’ daily tournament lives.”
A long career with lots of stress and adrenalin
Many top athletes initially fall into a deep hole after retiring. Julia Görges never had any fears. ‟I knew it wouldn’t happen because I was so looking forward to life after my playing career,” she says. ‟The time had simply come. I had been a part of everything for a long time. It was a very intensive life in a very special milieu, and when the time did come, I was prepared to leave the life behind me. My first reaction was, super, now I can finally take a deep breath and relax.” When announcing her retirement in October 2020, she did not have any plans for the time afterwards. For good reason: ‟It is difficult to plan for a new life when you’re still right in the middle of the old one. I played professionally for 15 years which is a long time and one with lots of stress and adrenalin. For me, it was therefore important to give my body and mind the necessary time to embrace my new life.”
A return to a life on the Tour is not something she can presently envisage. On the other hand, she can imagine sharing her experience with young players like those in the Porsche junior and U-23 teams. ‟This business is no picnic,” she says. ‟Looking at it from the outside, all the traveling and the chance to see the world might appear wonderful. But it requires discipline and hard work to keep going over the many years and not to lose sight of one’s goals. It also sometimes means getting out of the comfort zone and going down unpleasant paths, even if they it hurt.”
Never give up and try to shape life positively
Julia Görges has experienced it all herself. If she has transferred something from tennis to her normal life, then it is primarily the discipline and staying power needed to be successful in professional sport, but not only. After all, not everything in daily life goes the way one would like it to go. ‟In my career as a professional athlete, I learnt never to give up but to try to shape life as positively as possible,” she says and stresses that she doesn’t miss anything, ‟except for a few fellow players and friends with whom I shared my life on the Tour for so many years.” Julia Görges is at one with herself when looking back at her career. ‟I’m so totally content and satisfied with what I achieved and how it all went. There were many fantastic moments of which I am very proud of.”
Goosebump moment in the Porsche Arena
One of them was the 24th of April 2011, the day she won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. In the final, she beat the top favourite Caroline Wozniacki, the then world No. 1. A real goosebump moment. ‟I’ll never ever forget the day,” she says with a big smile on her face. ‟It was my first really big win, basically the start of my career. Every time I played in Stuttgart afterwards, big emotions were aroused by the pictures in my head.”
This year, the return to the Porsche Arena is a new beginning for Julia Görges.
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