Stuttgart. For the first time in her career Angelique Kerber has successfully defended a title. On Sunday, the Australian Open winner celebrated her second Porsche Tennis Grand Prix success after 2015 in the sold-out Porsche Arena which was brimming to the rafters with 4,600 spectators. In the first all-German final at the tournament that was first played in 1978, she stopped shooting-star Laura Siegemund’s winning streak when winning in two straight sets 6-4, 6-0. The Porsche Brand Ambassador is therefore the first German to win the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix two times in succession.†
She had gone through a lot of hard work prior to driving the main prize, a Porsche 718 Boxster S, onto the Centre Court. Laura Siegemund, who had defeated three Top 10 players on her sensational path from qualifying to the final, also initially dictated proceedings in the final. The self-confident and carefree Stuttgarter pulled off the world class shots with which she exasperated her previous opponents and which a top player like Angelique Kerber also couldn’t always get to. In the first set, the local hero, who has graduated in psychology, led 4-2 before the title-holder got a grip on the match. Propelled by the self-confidence of a Grand Slam winner, the world No. 3 dug in and point for point started to force her tiring opponent onto the defensive. Continuing in the same vein, she reeled off ten games in succession and wrapped up the match after one hour 21 minutes.†
“It’s not the end of my journey,” said Laura Siegemund after the biggest success of her career and still thrilled by her great performance in the tournament week and the sensational atmosphere in the Porsche Arena. Even though she has broken into the Top 50 for the first time – on Monday she will be world ranked No. 42 – she was nevertheless a little disappointed that, after the victory ceremony, Porsche Executive Board Chairman Oliver Blume did not take up a seat in the 718 Boxster S with her but with Angelique Kerber. “Pity, you don’t get to play every day for such a fantastic car,” she said and supplied, with a wry smile, the explanation why she could not keep her starting pace going for the whole match: “At some point, the Good Lord just pulled out the plug. And when the tank’s empty nothing works anymore.”
Especially against a world class player with the experience and fighting qualities of a Angelique Kerber. She is the old and new Stuttgart tennis queen, the Porsche Arena is her realm. Cheered by the thrilled spectators, she was presented with the winner’s trophy by Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, the Supervisory Board Chairman of Porsche AG and Porsche SE. “I had a rather good start to the year in Australia,” she said. “It was so important for me to show the performance wasn’t a one-off with such a success. Winning this tournament for a second time is really, really special for me.”†
Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic win doubles†
The win in the doubles went to Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic. In an exciting final, the Frenchwomen defeated the No. 1 seeds Martina Hingis (Switzerland) and Sania Mirza (India) 2-6, 6-1, 10-6. In addition to the trophies, Dr Wolfgang Porsche gave a Porsche Bike RX – an off-road bike with a high-end carbon frame in Porsche motor sport colours from Porsche Driver’s Selection – to each of the winners.
“Many others around the world can learn from this tournament”
The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, also voted as the world’s best tournament in its category on the WTA Tour in 2015, also set standards with its 39th edition. In addition to the record attendance totalling 39,000 spectators, there was also high praise from WTA Supervisor Laura Ceccarelli. “The tournament is so well organised that many others around the world can learn from it. The players always love coming here to Stuttgart,” said the Women’s Tennis Association official. Another person that was highly satisfied with the tournament week of superlatives was Markus GŁnthardt. “We’ve seen tennis of the highest class and Laura Siegemund’s impressive winning run,” said the Tournament Director. “The matches were almost all top quality and the tournament had such a strong field that even though some favourites fell early, it didn’t have a detrimental effect. One loses names but not tennis quality.”