BANGKOK, Thailand – WTA Future Stars kicked off the junior Race to Singapore last weekend, as WTA Finals Legend Ambassadors Tamarine Tanasugarn and Yayuk Basuki held a clinic for 20 local juniors and 16 children from Childline Thailand Foundation (CTF) at Bangkok’s LTAT National Tennis Center.
Basuki and Tanasugarn, both former Wimbledon quarterfinalists and Top 20 players, each reached the highest ranking for a player from their countries over their WTA careers.
Tanasugarn and Basuki offered advice that would serve the children both on and off the court, such as the importance of teamwork, doubles match strategy and the keys to success. The pair also recounted some tales of WTA life and travelling the world, which each did for over 20 years as professional tennis players.
The tour veterans were then joined by two former WTA Future Stars participants – Nat Punnin, Thailand’s 2015 representative and Pat Vasuratna, a 2016 representative – to stage a doubles masterclass.
The WTA Future Stars regional outreach will make its next stop in India in July, before wrapping up in Indonesia in August.
Basuki, Indonesia’s highest ever ranked tennis player who reached a career-high ranking of World No.19 in 1997, said, “I am glad to see the enthusiasm and joy on the faces of these kids and I hope their passion for tennis continues to grow. I also look forward to welcoming Tamarine to Indonesia in August and having her share her stories with some of our junior players too.”
"The LTAT is pleased to welcome the WTA to Bangkok to conduct the WTA Future Stars Masterclass with one of our local heroes, Tamarine Tanasugarn, as well as Asian legend Yayuk Basuki. It is our honour to host the event at the LTAT Stadium and we are delighted that our junior players enjoyed this invaluable experience today which hopefully inspires them to pursue their passion for tennis,” said LTAT President Mr. Kitsombat Euammongkol.
Speaking after the session, Melissa Pine, Vice President of WTA Asia-Pacific and Tournament Director of the WTA Finals, said, “WTA Future Stars continues to provide an opportunity to touch the lives of youth in this region. It is heartening to see how passionate the children are about learning how to become better athletes and tennis players.”
“Seeing our WTA Legends inspire the next generation with their valuable expertise and wisdom is truly a heart-warming experience,” Pine added. “We are thankful for the support of WTA alumnae such as Tamarine Tanasugarn and Yayuk Basuki, and the wider tennis family for helping us engage and impact the lives of children in Asia-Pacific.”