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Seoul Boosts Prize Money To $500,000

The Korea Open has increased prize money, changed names and added Hawkeye electronic line calling for the 2012 event.

Published April 24, 2012 04:28

Seoul Boosts Prize Money To $500,000
Peter Johnston, Lee Jin-Soo

SEOUL, South Korea - The WTA's Seoul event has announced an increase of prize money from $220,000 to $500,000. On top of that, it has changed its name from the Hansol Korea Open to simply the Korea Open.

"With the assistance of Cho Don-Kil, the president of the Korea Tennis Association, the Hansol Korea Open was successfully held eight times from 2004 to last year," said Tournament Director Lee Jin-Soo. "Based on eight years of know-how, the tournament is being promoted with a prize money increase and a title change. This is the stepping stone to going from an International-level tournament to Premier-level. We plan to make the Korea Open the No.1 international sports event in Korea."

The 2012 event will be held September 17-23 at Seoul Olympic Park Stadium, the venue for the 1988 Summer Olympics where Steffi Graf won gold en route to her 'Golden Slam' season. Former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki is among those who will be in the field. One feature new to this year's staging will be the use of Hawkeye electronic line calling.

María José Martínez Sánchez captured her first career hardcourt title here last year. Other past winners include Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams.

However, the most memorable Seoul champion may be Kimiko Date-Krumm, who became the second-oldest Open Era WTA titlist with her triumph over Anabel Medina Garrigues in 2009 one day shy of her 39th birthday.

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