STUTTGART, Germany - The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix has announced a stellar lineup for its 2019 edition, to be held between April 20 to 29, that includes eight of the world's current Top 10 players.
US Open and Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka, Wimbledon victor Angelique Kerber, Roland Garros winner Simona Halep and defending champion Karolina Pliskova have all entered the tournament, along with Roland Garros runner-up Sloane Stephens, Australian Open finalist Petra Kvitova, WTA Finals champion Elina Svitolina and Cincinnati winner Kiki Bertens.
This field means that all of the current reigning major winners will compete in Stuttgart for the first time since 2012, when Kvitova, Li Na, Samantha Stosur and Victoria Azarenka all featured in the draw.
In addition to last year's victor Pliskova and two-time winner Kerber (2015, 2016), three further former champions will feature in the draw: Julia Goerges (2011) and, via wildcard, both three-time winner Maria Sharapova (2012, 2013, 2014) and Laura Siegemund (2017). This means that the champions from the past eight years - stretching back to the now-retired Justine Henin in 2010 - will be present.
The quality doesn't end there, with two further former Grand Slam champions, Garbiñe Muguruza and Jelena Ostapenko, also signed up, as well as the resurgent Belinda Bencic and fellow former Top 10 players Daria Kasatkina and Caroline Garcia.
"We're delighted we can once again offer our audience such a fantastic field... For me, it's a guarantee for exciting and high-class matches," tournament director Markus Günthardt said; while operating tournament director (and former World No.5) Anke Huber was particularly anticipating Osaka's presence.
"For us it's a special honor that she, the new World No.1 and momentarily the most interesting player on the WTA Tour, has decided to come to our tournament," said Huber. In Osaka's only previous appearance at the event in 2017, the Japanese player qualified for the main draw before falling to Johanna Konta in the first round.