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WTA bills Beijing as top priority in Asia

[ 2009-02-19 11:20]     字号 [] [] []  
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Beijing is preparing to take center stage in the world of Asian tennis this fall as the newly promoted China Open sits as one of four crown jewels in this season's WTA Tour.

"Asia has become more and more important in the sport's development around the world," David Shoemaker, the WTA Tour's chief operating officer, said. "(But) Beijing will be our primary focus in Asia."

He said the timing was right to dig deeper into the region.

"I think it is the best time to bring the tournament to Beijing. By hosting higher level tournaments, we will definitely expand the sport's presence and popularity in China and Asia."

The China Open (Oct 1-11) reflects a new shift in focus as one of 10 competitions that will be held in the region in September and October, six of them being women's events.

Beijing outbid Dubai, Tokyo and Bangkok to become one of just four cities to host the elite event, which makes it mandatory for the world's top 50 female players to attend. The top 10 players will be subject to severe penalties if they withdraw without good reason.

The world's best male players must participate in four of the year's 10 ATP 500 Series including at least one after the US Open in August, which gives them a choice of either Beijing, Tokyo, Basel or Valencia.

Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Center - built to resemble a blossoming metallic lotus - will host the China Open. The venue is the main reason why the capital beat other Asian cities to host the event.

"The Beijing Olympics left rich resources for our future development," said Sun Kanglin, director of the Beijing Sports Bureau. "As the Olympic tennis venue, the Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Center boasts advanced facilities. The green and clean surroundings helped with the success of the bid."

In a bid to lure more fans, the competition has been held back a month from September to coincide with China's national holiday.

An estimated 900,000 spectators will come to watch the China Open this year, while broadcasters will show a combined 2,000 hours of coverage of the two-week-long affair.


1. In which season will the China Open held in Beijing take place?

2. Which 3 other cities did Beijing outbid to host the event?


1. Fall.

2. Dubai, Tokyo and Bangkok.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

WTA bills Beijing as top priority in Asia

WTA bills Beijing as top priority in AsiaBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.