Representatives of their home markets
While Angelique Kerber and Emma Raducanu both represent Porsche all around the globe as Brand Ambassadors, Iga Swiatek, Maria Sakkari and Anett Kontaveit are closely bonded with the sports car manufacturer, especially in their home markets, as Friends of the Brand.
Her life motto is stuck on the door inside her Porsche Panamera: “You don’t get up in the morning to be average”. Iga Swiatek topped the world rankings for 75 consecutive weeks and, aged only 22, is already one of her sport’s greats. It does not remain without consequences for her daily life, especially back home in Poland. “People recognise me almost everywhere,” she says, “It’s difficult for me to live in peace and quiet.”
The popularity occasionally has its good sides. 15,000 spectators turned up at the “Iga Swiatek and Friends for Ukraine” event this summer in Kracow. Over a million people watched the TV broadcast of a mixed doubles which saw the former world class player Agnieszka Radwanska pick up a racket again. In the end, the event raised over half a million euro for Ukrainian children and adolescents affected by the war.
Iga Swiatek was born in the Polish capital Warsaw on 31 May 2001. In 2016, she won her first ever ITF tournament in Sweden. In 2020, she broke into the world Top 20 for the first time. In the same year, she won the French Open to become the first Polish Grand Slam winner. She then added further Grand Slam titles in Roland Garros (2022 and 2023) as well as at the US Open (2022). At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, she crowned herself the tennis queen of Stuttgart in 2022 and 2023 and was able to take a sports car from Zuffenhausen back home with her each time. On 4 April 2022, the Pole, who prefers to listen to hard rock by AC/DC before her matches, became the world No. 1 She has been a Friend of Porsche Poland since summer 2023.
Despite all her success, it is not always easy for her to grasp that she has become the world’s top player. “Sometimes,” she says, “my team has to remind me what I’ve achieved and that I can feel proud.”
Maria Sakkari’s path to becoming a professional tennis player was mapped out early on. Her mother Angeliki Kanellopoulou played successfully on the WTA Tour and managed to break into the Top 50. She took the little Maria out onto a tennis court, discovered her talent and then supported her when, aged 18, she moved to Barcelona as Spain offered better practice facilities. A good decision as she qualified for her first Grand Slam in her rookie year at the 2014 US Open.
Born in Athens on 25 July 1995, Maria Sakkari then put Greece on the tennis map in the years afterwards. In 2021, she managed to become the first Greek to break into the Top 10, thanks in no small measure to her reaching the semifinals at the French and US Opens. As a result, she qualified, again as the first Greek, for the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico where she went on to reach the last four at the season’s highlight. The trademarks of the co-operation partner of Porsche Greece are her excellent fitness and her powerful game.
In view of her successes, it is a little astonishing that she has only won two career WTA titles – in Rabat in 2019 and at the Guadalajara Masters in 2023 – to her name. Nevertheless, the right-hander who views Serena Williams as her role model and the serve as her biggest strength, is a permanent fixture in the Top 10. Her highest career ranking came on 21 March 2022 when she was listed as the world No. 3.
Anett Kontaveit has a special bond with the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. In 2017, she reached the quarterfinals after her first ever win against a Top 10 player. In 2018, she was in the last four and then made it to the final in 2019. The excitement in her home country was so big that a Radio Estonia reporter spontaneously boarded a plane and jetted to Stuttgart on Sunday morning to broadcast her countrywoman’s match live. For her, the tournament in the Porsche Arena “was something quite special” before continuing, “I look forward every year to playing in front of this crowd.”
It unfortunately is something that will not happen again. Aged only 27, she announced her retirement at Wimbledon in July 2023 due to persistent back problems The WTA Tour has lost one of its most popular players.
Right away as a teenager, Anett Kontaveit, who was born in Estonia’s capital city Tallinn on 24 December 1995, was one of the best players in her age group. In 2011, she won the Orange Bowl, the world’s most prestigious junior tournament in Florida. In 2012, she reached the semifinals of the juniors at the French Open and Wimbledon and was the US Open runner-up. She made her main draw debut at a WTA tournament in Miami in 2013 and was given a Wimbledon wild card as the most successful grass court player. It was a dream come true.
She broke into the Top 100 in when reaching the last 16 at the US Open. In 2017, she won her first WTA title in s‘-Herzogenbosch and was ranked in the Top 50. She became the world No. 2 in June 2022. A winner of six career WTA titles, she has been supporting the brand as a Friend of Porsche Estonia since summer 2022.