Stars align: Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams among stellar line-up for Hong Kong Tennis Open
Excitement builds for fledgling WTA event with Caroline Wozniacki, Samantha Stosur and Alize Cornet also signed up for Victoria Park
Excitement for the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open was ratcheted up again on Tuesday when organisers announced five more star names who will compete at the October competition, and with nine grand slam victories and 52 WTA singles titles between them, the players will ensure there is no shortage of quality on show.
There is also a very strong chance the Victoria Park event could host the US Open champion with a quarter of the last eight line-up in New York confirmed to play at the Hong Kong tournament.
Last year’s runner-up Angelique Kerber, who faces Italian Roberta Vinci for a spot in the US Open semi-final later tonight, will return. She could also be the world number one by the time she makes it to Asia as she challenges Serena Williams for the top spot at Flushing Meadows this week. Current No 1 Williams must now reach the final to ensure she maintains that distinction when the rankings are updated next week.
Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki is also still in with a chance of major success at the US Open, where she will face Latvian Anastasija Sevastova in the quarter-finals tomorrow morning (Hong Kong time).
Fan favourite and seven-time grand slam champion Venus Williams returns to the city yet again hoping to build on her semi-final run last year. She will be joined by former French Open champion Samantha Stosur, who reached the last four in Hong Kong last year, and five-time WTA singles champion Alize Cornet.
“We’re in our third year and the line-up is getting stronger and stronger each time,” said Hong Kong Tennis Association president Philip Mok. “To be able to see so many great players up close and personal is definitely inspiring to our players.
“We are bringing world-class tennis to Hong Kong,” he added.
The competition will be supported by the Mega Events Fund to the tune of HK$9 million this year and the event was recently granted ‘major’ event status.
“We are pleased to have the enormous support from the Mega Events Fund,” said PHKTO Steering Committee chairman Oscar Chow. “We also want to thank the Major Sports Events Committee for granting the tournament an ‘M’ Mark status.”
The organisers had previously announced that last year’s winner Jelena Jankovic will return for this year’s edition alongside British number one Johanna Konta, and French Open doubles champions Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic.
The Open kicks off on October 8 and will again feature ‘People’s Monday’ during the opening week when members of the public can attend free of charge.