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China Open organizers confirmed the newly crowned 2013 Roland Garros winner and 2005 China Open Champion Rafael Nadal at this year's tournament, making his first appearance in Beijing in four years.
Tennis fans in Beijing will also be able to cheer on the king of clay at the China Open/Roland Garros theme party - "A Decade of Companion, A Night of Passion" this Sunday as Roland Garros again stirs up passion for tennis among Chinese fans.
In less than four months Chinese fans will be able to cheer their favorite players at the China Open, the richest tournament in Asia. Held at the National Tennis Center from Sept 22 to Oct 6, the China Open is a combined WTA-ATP tournament and is the final premier mandatory stop on the WTA calendar, making the event mandatory for the top 47 WTA players while also attracting the superstars of the ATP World Tour to Beijing.
"We are excited to present the best players in the world in Beijing for our fans. Rafael Nadal is a global superstar and his participation is a great way for the fans to celebrate the China Open's 10th anniversary," said Alfred Zhang, China Open tournament director.
The Spaniard is the first of many ATP World Tour players confirmed to play, and Beijing remains a special place for Nadal, after his 2008 Beijing Olympic success helped him to complete the rare achievement of a career golden slam.
The former World No 1 has always been fond of Chinese culture and fans and is excited to be playing in Beijing during the national day celebrations this fall. "I am really looking forward to the China Open this year. I have heard great things about the Diamond Court but haven't played there yet so I hope to see all my Chinese fans there in Beijing in October," said Nadal.
"Rafa was the 2005 China Open champion and has always been in close relationship with our tournament. It is so gratifying to see him back on court in great form and we look forward to welcoming him back in Beijing!" said Zhang.
Ticket pre-sales for the 2013 China Open will commence at the end of June. Leo He, China Open marketing and brand management director revealed that the China Open's 10th anniversary will feature surprises for ticket purchasers. "This year we set up ticket sales and prices in a way that offers more options to our fans. We will also launch limited edition tickets that feature tennis superstars for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of our tournament.
(China Daily 06/12/2013 page11)