Stuttgart. Top class matches right from the start and testing contests for the Porsche Team Germany players have been produced by the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix draw. A particularly difficult path to the 39th edition of the long-running Stuttgart tournament lies ahead of Andrea Petkovic: the German will meet the strong Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic in the first round. The number one seed Agnieszka Radwanska from Poland awaits should she survive the tough opening encounter.
Annika Beck will only be happy with her first round opponent, a qualifier, who was drawn by “lady luck” Sabine Lisicki. Should she win, she will meet the number two seed – the Australian Open winner and Porsche Brand Ambassador Angelique Ker-ber. By way of comparison, Sabine Lisicki got lucky. She will most likely meet the Hungarian Timea Babos on Monday. “I’ve never played Timea,” she said, “and I don’t really know what to expect. It’ll be interesting for sure.”
Another player with a good chance of advancing to the next round is Julia Görges – her first round opponent is the Frenchwoman Alizé Cornet. The duel between the rapidly-rising youngsters Anna-Lena Friedsam from the Porsche Talent Team Ger-man’s and Great Britain’s Johanna Konta also promises to be an exciting affair.
“At such a top-class tournament like this one, if you don’t have to face a seeded player right away, then you can count yourself lucky,” said Tournament Director Mar-kus Günthardt when commenting on the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix draw which was made in front of scores of fans in the Kids’ & Activity Village on Saturday. Anke Huber, the Operating Tournament Director, said: “There are some highly interesting matches in prospect.” That such strong Top 20 players like Sara Errani and Ana Ivanovic have to play each other in the first round is something that happens in no other tournament around the world. Our spectators have a lot to look forward to.”
The tennis fans had a lot to enjoy early on in the first round of qualifying. Porsche Team Germany’s Carina Witthöft was a comfortable straight sets (6-2, 6-0) winner against the Russian Evgeniya Rodina. In an all-Porsche Talent Team Germany en-counter, Antonia Lottner was too good for Lena Rüffer when completing an easy 6-3, 6-2 win. Another German to advance was Katharina Gerlach who beat Frenchwoman Amandine Hesse 6-4, 6-2. Despite impressing, compatriot Katharina Hobgarski however went down 6-3, 6-4 to the Italian Camila Giorgi. For both Porsche Talent Team Germany supported players, it was their first appearances on the big tennis stage. The fourth German to progress to the second round of qualifying was Laura Siegemund by virtue of a 6-1, 6-4 victory against the Czech Tereza Smitkova.
Porsche Team Germany off to a good Fed Cup play-off start
Porsche Team Germany is still in with every chance of staying in the Fed Cup World Group. After the first day of the tie against the strong Rumanian team, the score is all-square 1-1 in Cluj. Angelique Kerber, the Porsche Brand Ambassador and Australian Open winner, put the team captained by Barbara Rittner 1-0 up when cruising past Irina-Camelia Begu 6-2, 6-3. Watched by an enthusiastic 7,500 capacity crowd in the Sala Polivalenta Arena, Andrea Petkovic made the world No. 6 Simona Halep work extremely hard before being eventually edged 6-4, 6-7, 6-4.
Images in the Porsche Newsroom (http://newsroom.porsche.com) and for accredited journalists in the Porsche press database (https://presse.porsche.de)