The premiere was a step into the future: with the move to the newly-built Porsche Arena in Stuttgart’s NeckarPark, a new era began for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in 2006. Another step in a successful future was the change of surface to clay in 2009. The time-honoured Stuttgart tournament has also mastered the new challenge.
The world’s best tennis players have been coming to the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix ever since 1978. As the most loyal sponsor within international women’s tennis, Porsche has accompanied Europe’s longest-standing women’s indoor tournament right from the very beginning. Back then, America’s Tracy Austin, a 15-year-old teenager with plaits and braces, advanced to become the crowd favourite and embark on a brilliant career when she overcame Holland’s Betty Stove in the final. In 2002 Porsche intensified its involvement with the world-renowned tournament and additionally took on the role as organiser.
As far as tennis is concerned, the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix is a top highlight on the WTA Tour. Virtually all the top stars come to Stuttgart every year. The quality of the field is regularly of a Grand Slam level. The players feel very much at home in Stuttgart, so much so that they voted the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix as their favourite event in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012. And the Women’s Tennis Association’s officials also appreciate the support given them by the successful Stuttgart automobile manufacturer. In 2004 Porsche was distinguished with the “Long Time Contribution Award” in recognition of the company’s longstanding involvement as a sponsor and partner of the sport.
“Porsche is a fantastic partner,” says Laura Ceccarelli, the WTA supervisor, “and the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix is not only one of the best, but one of the most innovative tournaments. We all really look forward every year to returning to Stuttgart as a guest.”