ZHUHAI, China - Stefanie Graf, former WTA World No.1 and 22-time Grand Slam champion, will continue as Tournament Ambassador for the 2017 WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, helping promote the third edition of this elite year-end women’s tennis event, which will be staged at the Hengqin Tennis Center Zhuhai between October 31st and November 5th 2017.
“I am excited to be returning to the WTA Elite Trophy as the tournament ambassador again for 2017,” said Stefanie Graf.
“Last year was my first visit to China and the beautiful city of Zhuhai. It was an incredible experience meeting all the Chinese fans, playing tennis on the new bridge and watching the final. I’m looking forward to more great tennis and learning more about the city and the culture.”
Graf is regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. During her career, she won 107 WTA singles titles, including 22 Grand Slam singles titles. Graf was the No.1 player on the WTA for a record 377 weeks– the highest total for any player since the WTA (and ATP) began issuing rankings. In 1988, she became the first player to achieve the Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year. Furthermore, she is the only tennis player to have won each Grand Slam event at least four times. Because of her great achievements and her contributions to the sport of tennis, she was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004.
This tennis legend came to China for the first time last November as the ambassador of the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, making her first public appearance in front of Chinese tennis fans. She attended a series of activities to help promote tennis in China, including a visit to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge for a campaign that attracted lots of attention from the media and fans from all over the world.
“It is a great honor for the WTA Elite Trophy to welcome Stefanie back to Zhuhai as our Ambassador, ” said José Miguel Garcia, Tournament Director. “She is an amazing Champion and a role model who will continue to inspire the future generations of players. The WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai fans will be excited to see her again.”
WTA CEO and Chairman Steve Simon stated, “We are pleased to welcome Stefanie Graf back as an ambassador to the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai. As one of the greatest players to have played this sport, Stefanie’s commitment to participating in clinics and promotional activities introducing tennis to the children and fans of tennis in Zhuhai will enhance the growing tennis culture being developed in China.”
“We are excited that Stefanie Graf will continue to be the Tournament Ambassador this year. She is such a legendary champion with a glorious career. It is our pleasure to welcome her back. We can’t wait to see her visit our beautiful city and magnificent Hengqin Center again,” said Mr. Xu Rong, Vice Chairman of Zhuhai Huafa Group Co., Ltd., organizer of WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai.
Presented by Huafa Sports, a subsidiary of the renowned Huafa Group, the WTA Elite Trophy was established in 2015 in partnership with APG, a tailor-made event created by the WTA for the coastal city adjacent to Macau and Hong Kong. With a total prize money $USD 2.28 million and 700 ranking points for the singles champion, the tournament features Top 20-ranked players in a singles and doubles round-robin format. Former Grand Slam singles winners Venus Williams and Petra Kvitova won the tournament respectively in 2015 and 2016.