Angelique Kerber has heard a lot said about herself, but this was the first time somebody said she had remarkable eyebrows, which are uniform in shape. "Is that something good?" she asked. "But of course," replied the make-up artist and continued powdering her meticulously. Angelique Kerber sits still, patiently. Not that she's more vain than any other young woman of 27 years. But it needs more than a bit of rouge when it comes to a real photo shoot. Photo shoots are part and parcel of the professional life of a top tennis player, what Kerber calls "all that other stuff".
It's Monday, so the Porsche Museum is closed. She practically has the historic cars, exhibits and prototypes all to herself. A good moment to have a look around the soul of Porsche, her new partner. At the start of the year, Angelique Kerber, who has long been a German top tennis star, became the company's national brand ambassador. Wherever she goes in future, she will also be representing the brand, so to speak. So, even more of "all that other stuff".
"I'm so proud to have such a partner," she said. She is delighted with the idea of going on court at every tournament in future wearing the Porsche logo.She has been in contact with Porsche for many years through the Porsche Team Germany. But becoming brand ambassador is something personal, something individual and therefore of great importance for an athlete in an individual sport and lone fighter such as Angelique Kerber.
Whenever she thinks of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix – traditionally the big stage in her own country – Kerber says: "I feel even more involved when in Stuttgart." What she means by that exactly is very difficult to put into words. She only knows for certain that she is looking forward to playing in the Porsche Arena but she will not put herself under any additional pressure because: "I just want to enjoy it."
Angelique Kerber has learnt to have fun in her profession since she first stepped onto the professional stage in 2003. After working her way up right from the bottom, enduring setbacks, learning from defeats and wins, she broke through the sound barrier in 2012 and now plays among the best tennis pros in the world. Persistent, tough, full of playing ability and stamina, she has defended this status ever since. She freely admits that staying at the top is much more difficult than coming up through the ranks. Continually finding the motivation, giving all you've got during training, playing at a constantly high level – all that demands really hard work.
"You have to develop a passion for your profession," she said, "it's not possible without this passion." The reward for all the hard work are the benefits, which a top player enjoys. She need not face the best players straight away in tournaments. Normally her wishes regarding training times are fulfilled by the organisers. And then there is the respect which her opponents show her on court. That's an advantage. "It's a good feeling to know that it's difficult to play against me," she said. That's why she puts up with "all that other stuff".
At tournaments, players like her are also in demand in much different ways than just on court. She's invited to playtime with children ("I really love doing that.") and she gives autograph sessions and interviews. She does all the things that success brings and which "were a little too much" at the beginning. "You have to find out what's good for you," she said, "you have to find your own routine." She's managed it all – in her own way. It's not without reason that Barbara Rittner, head of the Fed Cup, refers to her as a "little stubborn".
Yes, she can be very special. As her career amply shows. Thanks to her mother Beata and her father Slawek, Polish blood flows in the veins of daughter Angelique who was born in Bremen in 1988. When she made her big breakthrough in the tennis world, she was living in Kiel and did not choose one of the standard residences in California, Florida or Monaco. She retreated to an unpronounceable place: Puszczykowo, in the district of Posnan in Poland.
There her grandparents run a large tennis centre with courts that have all the surfaces on which their grandchild can prepare for every tournament in seclusion. There she has started an academy for very young talent. It is well conceivable that she will actually work there at the end of her career. "But," she said as well, "basically I'm always open for something new." The make-up artist said she would turn a few curls in her hair. Angelique Kerber agreed and asked, "Should I wear these high heels?" Of course! It's simply all part of "all that other stuff".