Wuhan to host WTA tennis event in 2014

Updated: 2013-10-10 19:22

By Liu Kun in Wuhan (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Wuhan, capital city of Hubei province, will play host to the Asian leg of the Women's Tennis Association Premier 5 tour in September 2014.

The prestigious event will take place at Wuhan Optical Valley International Tennis Center from Sept 20 to 28.

The annual tour event stops in five cities around the world, with Tokyo normally hosting the Asian leg. However, Wuhan has now taken over from the Japanese capital after its 30 years of service and will continue to stage the Asian leg until 2028.

Prior to arriving in Wuhan, the Premier 5 tour will stop at Doha, Rome, Toronto and Cincinnati.

As the third-highest-level tournament after the Grand Slams and the WTA Premier Mandatory events, the Wuhan Open will attract at least seven out of the top 10 female players to compete for the total prize money of $2.4 million and the winner's 900 ranking points. It will also join the China Open (WTA Premier Mandatory and ATP 500 combined event) and the Shanghai Rolex Masters (ATP 1000) to further boost the popularity of tennis in China.

At a promotional conference on Wednesday, the organizing committee revealed the tournament emblem, the mascot “Jiang Jiang” and the tournament's official website.

Peter Johnston, the WTA's managing director for the Asia Pacific region, said he is looking forward to the event's opening next year and has absolute faith in its future.

The Wuhan Open will be held in the 39th week of the WTA schedule, between the Guangzhou International and the China Open, and will be part of the four-week China season, which also includes the Shanghai ATP Masters.