HONG KONG, China - Tennis fans in Hong Kong had cause for celebration this past week, as the brand new Hong Kong Tennis Open, which debuts in 2014, was unveiled in true Hong Kong style.
Blending style, glamour and athleticism, the tournament was officially launched at the aptly-named Love-All party at the exclusive Armani Aqua in Chater House amongst Hong Kong Tennis Association representatives, government officials, business leaders, media and Hong Kong's No.1, Zhang Ling.
The inaugural edition will be held the week of September 8, 2014, and offers $250,000 in prize money.
"This is very exciting news for tennis fans and everyone involved in sport in Hong Kong and throughout Asia," Chinese No.2 Peng Shuai said. "Hong Kong hasn't staged an international tour tennis event for a number of years - it will be a fantastic sporting spectacle and a great occasion for everyone."
Zhang, Hong Kong's No.1 player, echoed the sentiment. "To have the opportunity to compete against your peers in an internationally sanctioned tournament in your home city is a dream come true. The tournament will be one of the highlights of the year and a key focus in my preparation for 2014."
Michael Cheng, Chairman of the Hong Kong Tennis Open Steering Committee and Honorary Secretary of the Hong Kong Tennis Association, said: "HKTA is working proactively to ensure that tennis is again one of the strongest and most popular sports in Hong Kong. The hosting of a new WTA tournament and the return of elite professional tennis will have a positive impact at all levels of the sport and in the community. It will serve as an inspiration to young players looking to represent Hong Kong at the elite level and increase the popularity of tennis. We understand from the Government that they will continue to assist the Hong Kong Tennis Association in hosting the new Hong Kong Tennis Open from 2014 onwards, which will be an exciting new addition to Hong Kong's sporting events calendar."
In addition to making its mark on the city's sporting landscape, the tournament is also set to be a hit with shoppers and fashion aficionados as organizers look to capitalize on the city's reputation as one of Asia's leading lifestyle destinations. Stay tuned right here on wtatennis.com for all the latest.