US Open champion Flavia Pennetta in for Tianjin Open
Updated: 2015-09-29 14:04
Newly-crowned US Open winner Flavia Pennetta has confirmed that she will play in the WTA Tianjin Open in Oct, the tournament's organizer said on Monday.
Flavia Pennetta of Italy serves to compatriot Roberta Vinci during their women's singles final match at the US Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 12, 2015. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
The 33-year-old Italian became another big-name tennis star to compete in the tournament slated for Oct 12 to 18 in Tianjin, a port city in northern China.
Pennetta, who played women’s doubles in the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2014, hints that this year’s Tianjin Open would probably be her finale on the international stage.
"I am looking forward to enjoying a wonderful time again in Tianjin. It will be the last WTA tournament I will participate in," she said in a statement.
"We are excited about Pennetta choosing Tianjin Open as her last WTA appearance," said Stephen Duckitt, the tournament director.
Pennetta has had a glittering career, winning 10 WTA singles titles. She claimed her first Grand Slam title at the US Open in August after beating fellow Italian Roberta Vinci.
With the addition of Pennetta, the Tianjin Open has an even stronger lineup led by homegrown prodigy Zheng Saisai, Polish elite player Agnieszka Radwanska, last year's runner-up Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, rising Czech Republic star Karolina Pliskova and Swiss legend Martina Hingis.
"There will be five players at Tianjin Open who rank in the WTA top 20," said Duckitt. "As a young tennis tournament, it has grown really fast in the past two years."
New highlights of the tournament include double prize money, up from $250,000 to $500,000 and the introduction of Hawk-Eye technology.
"It demonstrates our commitment to enhancing the tournament for players, media and fans. Everyone involved is looking forward to seeing the Tianjin Open grow into one of the best tournaments on the WTA circuit," said Christian Forsyth, senior manager of player relations at the Women's Tennis Association.
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