Stuttgart. The 42nd Porsche Tennis Grand Prix has begun with exciting, hard-fought qualifying matches. Three Germans are still in with a chance of being a part of the main draw at the long-standing Stuttgart tournament: Anna Zaja, Antonia Lottner and Anna-Lena Friedsam all won their first-round qualifying matches on Saturday. The draw for the tournament proper at the same time promises many top class and exciting duels in the Porsche Arena.
Qualification: Anna-Lena Friedsam causes a surprise
The qualifying tournament at the 42nd Porsche Tennis Grand Prix started with three German wins: local hero Anna Zaja from the TEC Waldau Stuttgart club won in two hard-fought sets against Valentini Grammatikopoulou (Greece) 7-6 (3), 7-6 (8). Her next opponent in the second round on Sunday will be Bernarda Pera (USA). Compatriot Antonia Lottner had little trouble in beating Paula Ormaechea (Argentina) 6-1, 6-1 and will now meet Anna-Lena Friedsam, a Porsche Team Germany teammate. Friedsam won her first match 7-5, 6-2 against Ekaterina Alexandrova to cause a surprise as the Russian, the world No. 57, was the highest ranked player in qualifying.
Porsche Team Germany’s Sabine Lisicki dug deep against Isabella Shinikova (Bulgaria) but eventually succumbed after a tough three-setter – 3-6, 6-3 7-6(8). Lena Rüffer, another player from the local Stuttgart club, lost to Mandy Minella (Luxembourg) 6-0, 6-3. Fellow German, Mina Hodzic was defeated 6-2, 6-4 by Magdalena Frech (Poland) and Tamara Korpatsch was downed by Sara Sorribes Tormo (Spain). The second round of qualifying also includes a former Top 10 player in Vera Zvonareva who also reached the 2010 Wimbledon and US Open finals. The Russian overcame Anastasia Zarycka (Czech Republic) 6-4, 6-4.
The main draw: two Grand Slam winners go head-to-head
The drawing of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix main draw promises high-tension in the first round. Four Porsche Team Germany players will have their work cut immediately in their opening matches. The reigning Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber will face Donna Vekic (Croatia) and Julia Görges has been drawn to play the Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Wild card holder Laura Siegemund will meet Lesia Tsurenko (Ukraine) for a place in the last 16. A qualifier awaits Andrea Petkovic. High tension in particular is promised by the duel between two Grand Slam winners and former world No. 1s – Garbiñe Muguruza (Spain) versus Victoria Azarenka (Belarus).
Further information, film and photo material in the Porsche Newsroom: newsroom.porsche.com