You’ve carried over your great from the past months into 2018. What role does confidence play on the road to the top?
Julia Görges: When you play lots of matches and win, you automatically get more competitive and match tougher in certain situations. I no longer get so rushed and nervous. It’s nice to go to Stuttgart on the back of a successful start to the 2018 season.
At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, what are the differences between the Jule of 2011 when you won and the Jule of 2018?
As for my game, there’s no comparison. Tennis has developed immensely in the past few years. In 2011, I was still young and in the right place at the right time. Lot’s came right. I played a very good tournament but I was not so consistent and structured in my head that I could assess the situations properly. The Jule in 2018 is a more experienced, a more mature player that knows what to do in certain situations and goes her own way.
Your relationship to Porsche has also changed. You’re now a Brand Ambassador.
The role means a lot to me. I can totally identify with the brand, it’s one of the best and most renowned in the world. Plus, I really like driving.
When talking about Stuttgart, do the words “home game” therefore have another meaning for you?
Yes, for sure. It’s an honour to have the chance of representing the brand in Stuttgart of all places. It’s always something special playing in Germany, especially obviously in Stuttgart. When I go back there, it feels like returning to my living room. We’ve played there a number of times with the Fed Cup team. I once played a goosebumps match against the Czech Petra Kvitova that I narrowly lost 10-8 in the third set. Despite losing, it is a positive memory because the atmosphere was so unique. There’s a special atmosphere in the Porsche Arena. The crowd loves its tennis and it’s fantastic when I can give something back to the German fans. You always see lots of banners in the stands – it really hits you.
Do you have a favourite Porsche?
Above all naturally the 911 that came with winning the 2011 tournament in Stuttgart. The car is bound up with lots of wonderful memories. It’s always something special when I drive it. The Porsche reminds me of what I achieved in 2011. As I am travelling a lot, I unfortunately don’t often get the chance to get out and about in it. I save it for the nice drives. When I’m on the road with lots of bags, then the Macan is the better choice.
What do you associate with driving?
I’m convinced I’m actually quite a good driver. But I only passed my driving test at my second attempt. My first one didn’t last very long, perhaps five minutes. Then it was a case of: “Thank you very much but you can get out again, Ms Görges.” I had no time to show off my driving skills....
The whole thing started a bit weirdly. I had to open the bonnet and the show the tester engine parts like the oil filter. I was already annoyed because everybody else just drives off and they get their driving licence when they pass.
And what happened then?
We started in a 30 km/h zone. Strangely it was right next to my old school. The traffic lights there were red and then I had to use the handbrake because it was slightly downhill. I stalled the engine, rolled forwards a bit and couldn’t see the traffic lights any more. In the moment I wanted to drive off, the lights turned red again. That was that. Looking back, it’s quite funny. I can laugh about it now. But back then…
Do you drive like you play – quickly?
I like to drive fast when I get the chance and there is hardly any traffic on the roads. But when I see they’re full and I have to tailgate to drive fast, then it’s far more tiring for me.
In your job, you have to travel by plane a lot. Do you always have a good feeling in the air?
Well. I’m not afraid. I love to sleep in planes and I sleep well too. As soon as I’m in the air, I nod off.
911 Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet: Fuel consumption combined 9.7 – 8.7 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 220 – 196 g/km