Rising stars court success with Shenzhen event

Updated: 2013-09-17 19:07

By Sun Xiaochen (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Rising stars court success with Shenzhen event

Tom McCarthy, president of Beijing International Group (L) and China's tennis chief Sun Jinfang (3rd L) launch the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Cup China Tennis Grand Prix in Shenzhen, Guangdong province on Tuesday.

Tennis fever hits every fall with the China Open and ATP Masters held in Beijing and Shanghai in October, but it's not all about the world elite slugging it out.

Top-class tournaments include the Mercedes-Benz Cup China Tennis Grand Prix, the top annual domestic event where the nation's young stars wrap up the calendar year of domestic tennis.

This year's event will shift to Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on Nov 10-17, after taking place in Sanya, Hainan province last year.

The tournament will attract all the country's promising young players (except for pro players like Li Na, Zheng Jie and Peng Shuai) in singles and doubles at a 32-player draw challenger competition on Nov 10-12.

The top eight male and female players will earn berths to battle some of China's top players, including men's first Grand Slam main draw player Wu Di and women's US Open player Duan Yingying at the 16-seed championship stage on Nov 14-17 at the tournament, which boasts total prize money of $150,000.

Without having to face big stars at international tournaments like the China Open and Shanghai Masters, young players said it's more relaxed setting to hone their skills at the domestic event.

“Compared to foreign players at the same age, we lag behind due to a lack of experience. Here we can concentrate on ourselves, improve our skills and learn our shortcomings,” said Wu, who made the main draw by winning the tournament's Asia-Pacific Wild Card Playoff last year.

The tournament, which was jointly organized by the Chinese Tennis Association, Shenzhen local government and Beijing International Group, will be played at the Shenzhen Luohu Tennis Center, which hosted the Asia-Pacific leg of the Fed Cup, international women's team tournament, last year.

In addition to the competition, the tournament will also feature a week-long series of charity activities, campus promotions and youth clinics.