Maria Sharapova has won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix for her third time on-the-trot. In an epic final, the superstar from Russia beat Serb Ana Ivanovic (3-6, 6-4, 6-1) in front of a thrilled 4,500-strong crowd in Stuttgart’s Porsche Arena. Having won the Porsche Grand Prix, she will therefore take home the prize of a Porsche 911 Targa 4S.
Immediately after clinching the match, after two hours three minutes, with her first match point for one of the most important wins in her career, Maria Sharapova put her hands to her face and shook her head in disbelief. The spectators, who had seen a thrilling and high class final, rose to their feet to give her a much-deserved standing ovation. The tennis star had just crowned herself the tennis queen of Stuttgart for the third time. Sharapova, also a Porsche Brand Ambassador, has now joined the legendary Martina Navratilova who also won three Porsche Tennis Grands Prix in succession from 1986 to 1988.
Though Maria Sharapova’s win in the dream final appeared relatively comfortable, it did not look like last year’s winner would be able to defend her title. Ana Ivanovic put her under immense pressure with her accurate and powerful shots to win the first set 6-3 and was one point away from going 4-1 up in the second. But then Maria Sharapova showed why she is renowned for her fighting spirit. She said afterward, “You know I was down and out in that first match in the tournament against Lucie Safarova on Tuesday and I came through. I know the situation. The four-time Grand Slam champion fought back impressively to win the second set and eventually close out the match 6-1 in the third. “I love the competition,” she said, “Thankfully today I was able to bring out the best that I could on this given day.”
The winner’s trophy was presented to Maria Sharapova after the final by Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG and Porsche SE. The key for the Porsche 911 Targa 4S was handed over to her by Matthias Müller, Chairman of Porsche AG, who she then drove onto Centre Court. For Sharapova, the tournament ended not only with a memorable win but also with a personal success. “After my shoulder injury, Stuttgart was like a little comeback,” she said after her 30th career tournament win which was the first one since last year at the same venue. “Playing here is something very special.”
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Pictures provided by Porsche