ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - The WTA has announced that Nanchang, capital city of JiangXi Province in China, will become the new host of a WTA International event in 2016. Nanchang will be the sixth city in Chinese Mainland to host a WTA event.
APG had acquired the existing membership in Baku. Nanchang is scheduled to take place in the week of August 1, 2016 on WTA calendar.
The new International event in Nanchang will feature a 32-player draw size and $250,000 in prize money, and will be hosted in the JiangXi Provincial National Sports Center, the largest tennis facility in JiangXi province, which is also home to the current WTA 125K Series event in Nanchang for 2014 and 2015. The venue's Stadium Court has a 3,000-seat capacity and there are an additional 12 courts on site.
"This is an exciting time for APG as we continue to expand our footprint across Asia. Tennis in China has grown considerably over the past few years and we are looking forward to working with our partners in Nanchang to stage another world class tennis event," Andy Hon, the CEO of APG, said.
"We are very pleased that the WTA has chosen to continue the growth of women's tennis here in Nanchang. Last year we successfully hosted a WTA 125K Series event and the upgrading of the tournament to a WTA International will provide tennis fans with the opportunity to see some of the world's best WTA players competing here in Nanchang next year," said Ms. Huang, Meiqing, Director of Tennis Sports Administration Department of Jiangxi Province.
The WTA will host a record nine WTA Premier and International tournaments in Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan during the 2016 season: Beijing (Premier Mandatory), Wuhan (Premier 5), Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, Nanchang, Shenzhen, Tianjin (International), and Zhuhai (WTA Elite Trophy).
The WTA's long-term strategy of growing women's tennis in Asia-Pacific is built around an expansive footprint in China and the wider region, with Singapore hosting the prestigious year-end BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global for five years between 2014 and 2018, and the newly-added WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai for five years between 2015 and 2019.