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Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka headlines Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 October, 2018, 4:57pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 October, 2018, 4:57pm

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The 2018 US Open champion Naomi Osaka leads a diverse roster of over 50 stars at the 5th edition of the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open, a US$500,000 WTA International Series event, which runs from October 6 to 14 at Victoria Park Tennis Stadium.

A stellar international lineup

The red-hot Osaka needs no introduction.  Currently ranked World No. 6, the 20-year-old became the first to win a Grand Slam singles title from Japan, beating idol Serena Williams in straight sets in a dramatic US Open final in September.

Playing her first Grand Slam final, Osaka defeated the 23-time Grand Slam champion for the second time in 2018, backing up her Miami Open stunner with a 79-minute victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Before the US Open, she captured her first title at the “fifth Grand Slam” – the WTA Premier Mandatory event in Indian Wells -  and has defeated a bevy of top players in the past 12 months, including World No. 1 Simona Halep.

All eyes will be on Osaka at the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open 2018 as she makes a much-anticipated return, having reached the quarter-finals at Victoria Park last year.

Besides Osaka, other tennis stars in contention include World No. 5 Elina Svitolina from Ukraine who is also returning to Hong Kong for the second year on the back of a typically rock-solid season.  The 23-year-old started the year with a title at the Premier event in Brisbane, reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, captured the Premier title in Dubai and defended her crown at the prestigious Italian Open in Rome.

Making her debut in Hong Kong is 21-year old Jelena Ostapenko, the World No. 13 who made headlines around the world in 2017 when she became the first unseeded woman to win the French Open since 1933, as well as the first Latvian to win a Grand Slam title.

Closer to home, Chinese No.1 Wang Qiang, makes a return to Hong Kong for the third year.  She is joined by compatriot and Chinese No. 2 Zhang Shuai

Hong Kong singles wildcards

Showing their mettle on the courts of Victoria Park will be Hong Kong’s top two players – Zhang Ling and Eudice Chong. Both players recently returned from successful campaigns at the Asian Games in Indonesia where they reached the quarter-finals. 

Li Na makes a guest appearance

Lending star power to the event is Chinese legend Li Na. Four years after retiring from tennis, the two-time Grand Slam winner will attend the event as a special guest, entertaining fans at a celebrity exhibition match on October 9 in the stadium and headlining a kids’ participation day in the Tournament Village on October 7.

Served with fun

While the action sizzles on the courts, it’s equally enthralling off them.  Fans of all ages and interests will be thoroughly entertained at the enhanced and larger tournament Village which has been relocated to a new, larger site adjacent to the stadium at Victoria Park Soccer Pitch 6. 

Embracing a “Served with Fun” theme, the Village will play host to a series of activations and events headlined by music concerts on October 9, 10 and 11 featuring popular artistes including Shiga Lin, Dear Jane and Phil Lam.  Tennis buffs can practice their game or take part in coaching clinics and demonstrations on mini courts, play interactive tennis-themed games and partake in sponsor activations, watch live broadcast of the matches on the village big screen and attend star player autograph sessions.

For sustenance while they enjoy the festivities, fans can choose from a selection of yummy food and drinks served from food trucks.

Capture the action on court

Fans who are also avid amateur photographers have more reasons to be engaged with the world-class tournament.  Sony, the Official Imaging Partner of PHKTO, will be on hand to lend their latest imaging products on a first-come, first-served basis to fans to take high quality action shots of star players from a reserved shooting area on Centre Court.  In addition to capturing Instagrammable shots for themselves, they also stand a chance to win prizes.

Don’t miss the chance to join tennis fans all over the world to enjoy this “M” Mark spectacle, an intense, spectacular and signature sporting event supported by the Hong Kong Tourism Board.  The action promises to be as thrilling on the courts as it is in the Tournament Village.