One year ago, the Deutsche Tennis Bund (DTB – the German Tennis Association) and Porsche AG presented three new Porsche Talent Team Germany members, namely Katharina Hobgarski, Katharina Gerlach and Lena Rüffer. Further changes have been made as Irina Cantos Siemers has been added to the squad containing Germany’s top up-and-coming women players. Hamburg-born Carina Witthöft has now moved up to become a member of Porsche Team Germany whose No. 1 player is the Australian Open winner Angelique Kerber.
“Carina has been on the verge of breaking into the world’s top 50 and consistently appears in the main draw of the big tournaments. She’s therefore one of the vital players on the fringe of Porsche Team Germany,” remarked Porsche Team Germany captain Barbara Rittner. “At the moment she’s however dropped down the rankings slightly and is going through a difficult patch which she is sure to get through with a work and practice. It’s all important experience that belongs to the game.”
“The fact that, after Annika Beck, Carina Witthöft has also been promoted to become a member of Porsche Team Germany shows that our joint concept to promote promising juniors is the right course,” said Dr Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. “It was important for us right from the start that our commitment means we are able to help young talented players improve and accompany them on their way to the top. Our support gives them the chance to concentrate on their sport and to reach their full potential.”
Her place within the Porsche Talent Team Germany set-up will be taken by Irina Cantos Siemers (born in 2000) who lives with her parents close to Barcelona and plays for the TC BW Vaihingen-Rohr club. “Irina is unbelievably hard-working, single-minded and extremely ambitious. She loves playing tennis and has only one aim in her head. To give everything to be able to fulfil her dream of becoming a professional tennis player,” said the national coach Barbara Rittner. “Still only 16, she has a long way ahead of her but with her attitude she could well go a long way.”
The Porsche Talent Team Germany is a joint Deutsche Tennis Bund and Porsche AG project with the express aim of establishing German women’s tennis at the top of world tennis in the long term. “Supporting young promising players is an important task of the Deutsche Tennis Bund and we’re very happy to be backed by a strong partner in Porsche AG,” said DTB President Ulrich Klaus. “Anglique Kerber’s Australian Open win and the enthusiasm for tennis that it has aroused have underlined just how important it is to have role models within the game. Together with Porsche AG we also want to make our mark in women’s tennis in the future.”
In addition to Carina Witthöft and Antonia Lottner (born in 96), the original Porsche Talent Team Germany squad in April 2012 consisted of Dinah Pfizenmaier (born in 1992) and Annika Beck (1994). The latter’s career-highest WTA ranking is 39th and she has twice been selected to play for Porsche Team Germany in the Fed Cup. Currently Porsche Talent Team Germany is made up of Anna-Lena Friedsam (born in 1994), Antonia Lottner, Katharina Hobgarski (1997), Katharina Gerlach (1998), Lena Rüffer (1998) and Irina Cantos Siemers.