Rainer Schüttler is pinning his faith in Tatjana Maria, Laura Siegemund, Anna-Lena Friedsam, Eva Lys and Jule Niemeier and at the most prestigious team competition in women’s tennis. Porsche Team Germany has been preparing for the season’s highlight in the Spanish city since Sunday. After the first practice sessions on the Centre Court in Estadio de la Cartuja, the team captain was visibly extremely pleased with his players. “We’ve got a compact team and a fantastic team spirit,” he said. “You can feel that they all have a burning desire to play for Germany.”
Laura Siegemund was not in Seville right from the start – for good reason. Together with her doubles partner Vera Zvonareva, the singles winner at the 2017 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix had qualified for the WTA Finals in Cancun, Mexico – the season-ending tournament for the year’s most successful singles players and doubles teams. By winning the doubles final that was postponed to Monday due to the persistent rainfall, the 35-year-old Stuttgart resident duly celebrated the biggest career success. She is now in Seville. Her late arrival and the missed practice sessions are no problem for Rainer Schüttler. “Her brilliant win has buoyed the whole team. She’s travelled here hugely self-confident, and it makes no difference if she doesn’t practice for a day or two. She’ll make up for it easily with her enormous experience in singles and doubles.”
“We don’t have to hide behind any nation”
Italy and France in Group D are both doable for Rainer Schüttler. “Looking purely at the world rankings, then we’re definitely not favourites,” he says, “But we don’t have to hide behind any nation. Our opponents are under big pressure.” His confidence is backed up by the way Porsche Team Germany qualified for the Finals in Seville. In November 2022, there was the victory in Croatia which included Eva Lys’ sensational Billie Jean Cup debut. Back then, the Porsche Talent Team player beat the host’s No. 1 and favourite Petra Martic. Then came the win against Brazil in April 2023 when Jule Niemeier laid the foundation for the successful qualification by beating the Top 15 player Beatriz Haddad Maia.
“The two ties saw our team gel into a real unit in which the players support and encourage each other,” says Rainer Schüttler. There is a lot at stake this week in Seville but Porsche Team Germany can also achieve a lot. “I hope we’ll repeat our displays against Croatia and Brazil and also run into good form in Seville. Then everything’s possible.”
Billie Jean King Cup
The successor to the Fed Cup, the Billie Jean King Cup has been the most important team competition in women’s tennis since 2021. Porsche Team Germany contested the premiere and has now qualified for a second time for the Finals involving the 12 best tennis nations which Seville will host from 7 to 12 November. Switzerland is the title holder.
The Finals in Estadio de La Cartuja consist of four groups in which each tie will include two singles and one doubles rubbers. Porsche Team Germany begins its campaign on Court 1 on Thursday in the Group D tie against Italy. On Friday’s schedule is the second group tie against France on Centre Court at 10.00 am. The group winners will go on to contest the semifinals on Saturday. The final will take place on Sunday.