Julia Görges has well and truly embraced her new life after hanging up her tennis rackets. “Everything is far more relaxed than when I was on tour. Back then, my life basically involved packing suitcases, travelling, stress, jetlag and so on,” she says. She never felt really at home anywhere but that’s all changed now: “I enjoy coming home and sleeping in my own bed. It’s something very special for me.”
The fact that she will have to make do with a hotel bed again during the tournament week is something she is happy to put up with. At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, she will be out and about in a new role and the Porsche Brand Ambassador is full of anticipation. Working for the tournament’s social media channels, she will meet up with her former fellow players and therefore get close to Barty, Kerber and co. “I’m really looking forward to the job and hope the players also have fun when I’m interviewing them. We want to entertain the fans and give them interesting insights into the stars’ daily tournament lives.”
A long career filled with stress and adrenalin
Many top athletes initially fall into a deep hole after retiring. Julia Görges never had any fears about that. “I knew it wouldn’t happen because I was so looking forward to life after my playing career,” she says. “The time had simply come. I had been a part of everything for a long time. It was a very intensive life in a very special milieu, and when the time did come, I was prepared to leave that life behind me. My first reaction was: ‘super, now I can finally take a deep breath and relax’.” When she announced she was leaving the game in October 2020, she didn’t yet have any plans for her retirement. For good reason: “It is difficult to plan for a new life when you’re still right in the middle of the old one. I played professionally for 15 years which is a long time and one with lots of stress and adrenalin. For me, it was important to give my body and mind the necessary time to embrace my new life.”
A return to a life on tour is not something she can envisage at the moment. On the other hand, she can imagine sharing her experience with young players – like those in the Porsche junior and U-23 teams. “This business is no picnic,” she says. “Looking at it from the outside, all the travelling and the chance to see the world might appear wonderful. But it requires discipline and hard work to keep going over many years and not to lose sight of one’s goals. It also sometimes means getting out of your comfort zone and going down unpleasant paths, even if they it hurt.”
Never give up and try to shape life positively
Julia Görges has experienced all these things and if she has taken anything from tennis to her normal life, it is primarily the discipline and staying power needed to be successful. After all, not everything in daily life goes the way one would like it to go. “In my career as a professional athlete, I learnt never to give up but to try to shape life as positively as possible,” she says, stressing that she doesn’t miss anything “except for a few fellow players and friends with whom I shared my life on tour for so many years”. “I’m so totally content and satisfied with what I achieved and how it all went,” she adds. “There were many fantastic moments, of which I am very proud.”
A goosebump moment in the Porsche Arena
One of them was 24 April 2011 – the day she won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. In the final, she beat the favourite Caroline Wozniacki, the then world No. 1. It was a real goosebump moment. “I’ll never, ever forget the day,” she says, with a big smile on her face. “It was my first really big win – basically the start of my career. Every time I played in Stuttgart afterwards, and pictured that moment, I would get very emotional.”
This year, the return to the Porsche Arena is a new beginning for Julia Görges.
Julia Görges, born in Bad Oldesloe, Germany on 2 November 1988, won a total of seven WTA titles. She made her big breakthrough in 2011 when she sensationally won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. In 2017, she celebrated her biggest career success when she claimed the WTA Elite Trophy and broke through the magical barrier of 400 aces in a single season – the third player to do so after Serena Williams and Karolina Pliskova. In 2018, the Porsche Brand Ambassador reached the semi-finals at the grand slam tournament in Wimbledon and rose to a career high No. 9 in the WTA world rankings. During the course of her playing career, which came to an end in October 2020, she amassed a total of 9,913,954 dollars in prize money.