Stuttgart. The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix has seen its first major upset. Cheered on by the excited capacity crowd in Stuttgart’s Porsche Arena, the local hero Laura Siegemund beat the world No. 6 Simona Halep from Romania to advance to the quarterfinals of the long-standing Stuttgart tournament – the second German after title-holder Angelique Kerber. No longer in the running however are Andrea Petkovic and Julia Görges from Porsche Team Germany as well as Anna-Lena Friedsam, a member of Porsche Talent Team Germany.
Laura Siegemund has continued her winning ways at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. The German, who only lives just down the road from the Porsche Arena, won her fifth match of the tournament when impressively defeating Simona Halep. In a match lasting just 69 minutes, the qualifier cut short the top Romanian’s appearance in Stuttgart with a comfortable 6-1, 6-2 win.
“I still can’t believe it. Sure, it’s definitely the biggest win of my career,” she said after the crowd’s cheering had died down. Recently at the Australian Open, she played excellently to reach the third round but had previously never beaten a player ranked as high as her opponent Simona Halep. And the Filderstadt-born player certainly believes she can extend her winning run – and her on and off court confidence gives one the impression it might well come true. Wanting, in her own words, “to do something else in life other than playing tennis,” she quit the game in 2012 for two years to study for a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She graduated with a 1.3 and appears to have listened particularly intently to the lectures dealing with the phenomena of stress. On court, she has every precarious situation under control and plays as she says “in the zone”. Nowadays she is ranked No. 71 in the world, the highest she has been in her career. The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix is only the fourth WTA tournament in which she has reached the quarterfinals. But it certainly does not have to mark the end of the road. “Tennis really is fun playing like that,” she said, “I wouldn’t mind enjoying the feeling a bit longer in this fantastic arena.”
It does not appear to be impossible. In the quarterfinals she will meet Roberta Vinci, the world No. 8, who knocked Porsche Team Germany’s Julia Görges out of the tournament where the main prize for the winner is a Porsche 718 Boxster S. The Italian took full advantage of the unforced errors made by the surprise winner of the 2011 tournament to wrap up the match in two straight sets 6-3, 6-4. For Laura Siegemund, the quarterfinal will also be a premiere – she is also yet to play Roberta Vinci. It however is not causing her any headaches. “I don’t feel any pressure at all,” she said. “I obviously want to win every match but first of all I want to savour the feeling of having come so far and the knowledge that the spectators seem to like my game. It gives me a sense of pride.”
After a great performance in the last match of the Fed Cup Play-off against Romania, Andrea Petkovic’s dream of going a long way in Stuttgart has however not come true. The Porsche Team Germany player went the distance with Agnieszka Radwanska but again had no chance in the seventh duel with the Pole when losing 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 to the world number two. Agnieszka Radwanska, the top seed, will now face Karolina Pliskova, who downed the Serb Ana Ivanovic, in the quarterfinals. Anna-Lena Friedsam however has fallen by the wayside. Given a main draw wild card, the Porsche Talent Team Germany player battled hard before bowing out 6-2, 6-2 to Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro who until recently was ranked in the Top 10.
One of five Top 10 players to progress to the last eight at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix is Petra Kvitova. Initially though the two-time Wimbledon champion had trouble finding her rhythm and had to stave off three match points in the second set before going on to beat the Romanian Monica Nicolescu 2-6, 7-6, 6-2. “At the start I was a little nervous as I had lost to her in the Fed Cup in February,” said the Czech who will now be up against Garbine Muguruza in the quarters. The Spaniard broke into the world’s Top 10 last year and is currently No. 3 in the WTA rankings.
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718 Boxster S: combined fuel consumption 8.1 – 7.3 l/100 km, urban 10.7 – 9.5 l/100 km, extra-urban 6.5 – 6.0 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 184 - 167 g/km; efficiency class (Germany): F-E.