Updated: 2012-10-30 08:00
By Tang Zhe (China Daily)
More WTA events to come in China
Shenzhen will follow in the footsteps of Beijing and Guangzhou this December when it becomes the third Chinese city to hold a WTA tournament.
And there's more to come.
The Women's Tennis Association has been making more connections in China, opening a WTA office in Beijing in 2008 and upgrading the China Open to a mandatory event in 2009.
China will get even more involved as more entry-level events will probably be placed in the country soon, WTA Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster said.
The city of Tianjin has also been announced as one of the four candidate cities - along with Singapore, Mexico City and Kazan, Russia - for the 2014-16 Championships.
Tianjin is 33 minutes away from Beijing by high-speed rail.
The four cities were selected following an initial phase that saw 43 interested parties. The winner will be announced next spring.
"It continues to be one of our key strategic objectives, the growth of the sport in Asia Pacific, and in China as a foundation," said Allaster, who took office in 2009.
With 52 events in 32 countries with $100 million in prize money in 2012, the organization expects to put one or two WTA 125s in China in 2013.
The WTA 125s are a brand new breed of tournaments that offer lower-ranked and up-and-coming players an opportunity to play extra tournaments and earn more ranking points, with total prize money of $125,000 and 160 ranking points for the champion.
(China Daily 10/30/2012 page23)