Maria, you won last year’s Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. How important was winning the tournament for you?
“Looking back at my win, I think it was a really important win for me. It ultimately led to my win at the French Open. For me, to get a win on clay at one of the toughest tournaments of the year, gave me huge confidence.”
What did you especially like about the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix?
“I just felt really comfortable from the moment I arrived. I have always heard how amazing the tournament was, so I was excited that it finally worked out in my schedule. It’s difficult to say what I especially liked. In Stuttgart everything is first class.”
Is it important for you to see more of the tournament city than just the hotel and the tennis court?
“I always love trying to see as much of the city I am staying in as possible. But if I am winning and am still in the tournament, it is really hard to find the time. It’s a pity sometimes but if I had the choice, I prefer the winning!”
All the players’ wishes are fulfilled at tournaments. What is of particular importance to you personally?
“I am kind of easy. I am not like some other players who have these large entourages following them everywhere. For me, staying in a really nice and comfortable hotel that is close to the tournament site is the most important thing for me and my team.”
In Stuttgart, you were the crowd favourite. How important for you is it that you are liked by the spectators?
“Playing in front of great crowds and competing at the highest level is what I live for. The crowd last year in Stuttgart was amazing and I look forward to seeing them again this year.”
Is it something special to play a tournament that you won the previous year? Are your expectations on yourself bigger as a result?
“It is always great coming back to a city and tournament where you have had success. You have those special memories when you step back on the court where you were holding the trophy.”
Talking about the trophy: you are generally seen as being the favourite for this year’s Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Is there still room in your garage for another Porsche?
“Of course. There is always room for another Porsche.”
photo Cheltenham jockey club
photo Cheltenham Racecourse