Iga Swiatek leads stunning Stuttgart field as Porsche brand ambassador Emma Raducanu gets wildcard

Shahida Jacobs
Iga Swiatek jumping for joy

Nine of the top 10 players in the WTA Rankings will feature at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart this year while Porsche brand ambassador Emma Raducanu has nabbed a wildcard entry for the tournament.

World No 1 and three-time Grand Slam winner Swiatek will return to defend her title at the WTA 500 tournament from April 17-23 at the Porsche-Arena, but she will face stiff competition for the trophy this year.

Last year she defeated Aryna Sabalenka in the final and the reigning Australian Open champion and world No 2 – who finished runner-up at the Indian Wells Open on Sunday – will also be in the star-studded field at the indoor clay-court event.

The three reigning Grand Slam winners will all be in Stuttgart as Wimbledon and Indian Wells champion Elena Rybakina – who has already beaten Swiatek twice this year as she claimed wins in California last week and the Australian Open – has also signed up.

Caroline Garcia, Ons Jabeur, Coco Gauff, Daria Kasatkina, Belinda Bencic and Maria Sakkari will also be in the main draw with Jessica Pegula the only top-10 player missing from the line-up.

2021 US Open champion Raducanu did not receive a direct entry into the main draw of the 32-player field as she is currently outside the top 60 in the WTA Rankings, but tournament organisers have handed her a wildcard along with German players Tatjana Maria and Jule Niemeier.

Raducanu and Swiatek met in the quarter-finals in Stuttgart last year and it was the world No 1 who came away with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over the British No 1. The win was part of Swiatek’s 37-match unbeaten run, which was eventually ended by Alize Cornet at Wimbledon.

“Having so many top stars is a huge compliment for our tournament and the spectators in the Porsche Arena. The players thus show us that they love coming to Stuttgart,” Operating Tournament Director Anke Huber said.

Other non-top 10 players who will compete include former world No 1 Petra Kvitova, 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, 2017 French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko and former world No 1 Karoline Pliskova.

Kvitova and Pliskova are the only other former champions in the draw as the former won the title in 2018 while Pliskova won the following year. Sabalenka, meanwhile, has finished runner-up at the last two editions as she lost in the 2021 final against Ashleigh Barty.

READ MORE: Mats Wilander highlights ‘worry’ for Iga Swiatek – ‘She’s going to win lots of Grand Slams. But she’s human’