Stuttgart. Quick legs, precise shots, spectacular rallies: the second day of main draw matches at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix served up thrilling tennis for the spectators in the Porsche Arena. And German successes: Annika Beck from Porsche Team Germany and Laura Siegemund have both advanced to the next round. After excellent performances and three good wins in qualifying, Porsche Team Germany’s Carina Witthöft however failed to progress when losing to the Serb Ana Ivanovic.
Annika Beck started the 39th edition of tournament, which was voted by the players as their favourite event in its category in 2015, full of energy. The world No. 41 beat the Italian Camila Giorgi comfortably in two straight sets (6-4, 6-2). “Now I hope I can play a few more days here in Stuttgart,” she said after her match. It will not be easy as in the second round on Wednesday she will be up against, of all people, her teammate Angelique Kerber. “Against Angie, I’m obviously the rank outsider,” she said when looking ahead to the match against the Australian Open winner. “It’s a pity the game comes up so early in the tournament.”
Up to now the Porsche Team Germany teammates – in Romania over the weekend they helped ensure the team would stay in the Fed Cup World Group – have only played each other once before. At the Australian Open in January, Annika Beck lost the fourth round match 6-4, 6-0. In the Porsche Arena, the teammates will become rivals for a short while. “There’s a strong team spirit,” said Annika Beck, “but tennis is a sport for individuals for most of the year. It’s all about oneself.”
Fellow German Laura Siegemund has continued her winning run that started in qualifying. In the first round of the tournament proper, the world No. 71 beat the Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who is ranked 44 places above her, after getting off to a dream start (6-0, 7-5). After cruising through the first set she then encountered a few problems in the second when she was suddenly 5-2 behind. In her analysis afterwards, the local hero provided a fitting comparison: “After winning the first set 6-0, I forgot to keep my foot on the accelerator – in the end I found the accelerator again.”
After a two-year break from the game, Laura Siegemund, who graduated her bachelor psychology course with a 1.3, is playing better than ever. At the Australian Open, she reached the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her career. At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, where she had previously lost in the first round of qualifying at all her previous four appearances, she will now play the No. 4 seed Simona Halep (Romania) on Thursday. “We have never played each other,” said Laura Siegemund, “but I’ll work hard preparing. I’m now in the place where it’s a lot of fun playing tennis. I want to savour it all.”
After three wins in qualifying, the tournament has come to an end for Carina Witthöft. The Porsche Team Germany player put up stiff resistance against Ana Ivanovic for one set but in the end ran out of steam against the world No. 19 go down 7-6, 6-0. “I didn’t have to lose the second set so easily,” said the Germany self-critically. The winner however praised her opponent for pulling off some impressive shots but in the end the Serb’s greater experience was decisive. “I played more aggressively and therefore won the important points,” said Ana Ivanovic, who was the runner-up in the Porsche Arena in 2014. She was supported at her opening match on Tuesday by her boyfriend Bastian Schweinsteiger. The Manchester United football player was a guest in Stuttgart rooting courtside for his girlfriend. With success – Ana Ivanovic is now in the second round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.
Also into the next round is Petra Kvitova. The two-time Wimbledon champion needed only 54 minutes to end qualifier Louisa Chirico’s (USA) dreams when beating her 6-0, 6-0. A quick win. But the Czech was, as she said afterwards especially motivated: “I lost in the first round here in the last two years, and I didn’t want to continue the series.”
In the last match of the day, the No. 7 seed Carla Suarez Navarro from Spain overcame the qualifier Oceane Dodin (France) 6-3, 6-0.
Images in the Porsche Newsroom (http://newsroom.porsche.com) and for accredited journalists in the Porsche press database (https://presse.porsche.de)