Whatever Happened to 1990s Tennis Star Anke Huber?

It’s not uncommon for someone to make a name for themselves and then suddenly disappear from the limelight. It often happens with actors that we see often but they suddenly seem to fade away. We don’t always notice immediately. Instead, weeks, months, and sometimes years later, we find ourselves asking, “Hey, whatever happened to….?”

1990s tennis star Anke Huber fits into this category. She made quite a name for herself, but most people haven’t noticed her being active since she chose to retire. So where has she been? And what has she been doing with her life since she stopped playing? Believe it or not, she’s still right in the midst of her favorite sport.

Anke Huber Began Her Impressive Career Early

Anke Huber was born in Southwest Germany in 1974. Her father, Edgar – a tennis player himself – introduced her to tennis during childhood. Both she and her father played at a club, where she was thought to be the future number one. Putting her skills and passion to work, she stepped onto the competitive field at the age of seven. Over the next few years, she won several junior competitions for her age group. And by the time Huber was in high school, she had played at Wimbledon and in the Australian Open.

Her Adult Tennis Career Was Also Successful But Shorter

Anke Huber went on to win the Schenectady tournament in 1990. She then competed for Germany in the Olympic Games in 1992 and 1996. In 1992, she defeated Conchita Martinez in the Fed Cup, and then went on to win the Hopman Cup in 1995.

Her storied career came to an end in October 2001 after playing in the Sanex Championship in Germany – and after amassing nearly $5 million in prize money. She chose this competition as her last for her home fans. Their cheers and support through the years were enough to fuel her to be the best she could be, and saying goodbye to the sport in her home country felt like a proper goodbye.

But Why Walk Away From Such a Career?

It can often be difficult for those from the outside to understand how someone can walk away from the success they’ve worked hard to achieve. The truth is, though, that it’s usually not an overnight decision – and there’s often more than meets the eye. This is certainly the case with Anke Huber.

According to her, she chose to walk away due to a chronic ankle injury in addition to wanting to live a normal life, which isn’t hard to believe. When someone has worked toward and trained for one thing since childhood, it’s completely possible to want to try something new.

If you consider that Huber had been training and had been in the limelight since the tender age of seven, it’s not hard to imagine she would burn out. Most childhood stars miss out on “regular” activities, as their time is poured directly into their craft. Later, they realize how different their lives were and want to make a change. It’s not unreasonable to imagine this happening to a hard worker like Huber.

There might be another factor in her life-altering decision, though. Anke Huber was successful and beloved by her home fans, but she was also living in a big shadow – that of Steffi Graf. Graf was considered one of the top tennis professionals – not just in Germany but of all time. And this was the case even when Huber was a child. Even with the heart, persistence, and skills that Huber portrayed, competing with the success of such a legend was difficult, to say the least. And often, she felt as though she could never step fully out of that shadow – regardless of how successful she was in her own right.

However, in 1999, Graf retired, and it didn’t take long for Anke Huber to become the top female German tennis player. In some people’s minds, this might have been her time to shine. Unfortunately, Huber had a different view, as she mentioned the pressure she seemed to be under to be the next Steffi Graf.

Was it her ankle, then, or her desire for a normal life? Those probably played a significant role in her decision. She is quoted to have said, “I feel like I’m doing the same thing over and over, seeing the same people, always on the road. I’m sick of this life. I want a normal life.” Those heartfelt words definitely contain some truth.

However, it could also have been partly due to the expectations placed on her. Huber was always proud of her success – and maybe that was enough for her. Why wouldn’t it be? She was ranked as World No. 4, thanks to winning 12 WTA titles. Maybe she simply felt she had proven all that she had to prove to herself and that led her to walk away just two years after Graf.

She Didn’t Stay Out of the Game for Long

Though Huber walked away from playing tennis competitively, she didn’t quite stay away from the sport. Her original plan was to expand her horizons and get into a different field. But just a year after retiring, the tournament director of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix wore her resolve down and she signed on with the German Tennis Federation as the sporting director of her favorite tournament.

The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix is more than just a competition to Huber – it’s a fond memory and a reminder of success. Her father took her to see the tournament when she was only nine, and it was quite a memorable experience. Though she had already discovered a passion for the sport, being a spectator at this tournament enhanced that fire. And it was only a few years later that she found herself playing in that same tournament. Twenty years later, she is able to continue following that fire as co-director.

What Does She Do For the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix?

As co-director of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Huber spends her time managing the tournament players. This includes a variety of tasks – one of which is staying in contact with all the sign-ups throughout the year. Other tasks include organizing and facilitating activities for the players, as well as taking care of them when they are in Germany for the tournament.

Her career wasn’t the only thing that changed, though. Her personal life did as well. She was in a relationship with European agent Roger Wittman, with whom she started a family. Huber and Wittman welcomed a baby boy into their lives in 2005. Just a year later, they had a daughter. With both a new professional and personal life, Anke Huber began to find something much closer to the “normal life” she desired.

So Where Is 1990s Tennis Star Huber Now?

To this day, Huber still works with the German Tennis Federation to co-direct the yearly Porsche Tennis Grand Prix WTA tournament – and she loves it. She is often in the news or interviewed for her views on female tennis players. This includes which players she hopes to see competing in the tournament as well as her own predictions of the success these players will likely reach.

Huber is often key in ensuring deserving players both sign up for and compete in the Porsche Grand Prix. She also ensures the players get publicity through autograph sessions and more. Huber works hard to help the ladies that are currently walking the path she once walked – and who better to do that than someone who has been there? With firsthand knowledge of the challenges and experiences they might face, Huber can help make sure that all tournament competitors are well cared for.

Huber doesn’t stop there, though. She is also known for inspirational content on TEDx Talks and other platforms. She is a believer in following your passion to achieve your goals – and she is happy to share that message with others.


Anke Huber might have made big waves as a player, but her influence did not disappear when she stopped competing. She is using her skills and insight for current and future competitors while building quite a legacy for her children to emulate. Though she may do so more from the background than in the limelight, Anke Huber is still making her mark.

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