From Wertheim's Mailbag:
"Speaking of doubles, anyone else notice the continuing success of the female Chinese teams Jing-Yi Li/Tian Tian Sun and Zi Yan/Jie Zheng? .. Speaking of China, look for a big upcoming announcement. Both tours are planning marquee events there."
With the recent success of the Chinese girls in doubles and Zheng / Sun in singles coupled with building momentum to Olympics in 2008, I am glad that tennis will finally hit the big leagues in China. It is about time. It is the world's most populous country. Tennis used to be a sport which only the rich could afford - there are not many courts, especially in the rurul areas of the country. But now economy is improving and the middle class individual can afford it (even though most Chinese athletes are poor farmers' children picked out by scouts and sent to live at Athletic camp when they are young
With proper coaching, I expect there to be a wave of players coming up very soon to follow in the footsteps of Zheng etc.
Being from Beijing myself, I practiced at Olympic training facilities in 1995 with some girls that hit me off the court. I don't really remember the names of the girls but it is quite possible that one was Zheng
So now that we know there will be big events in China, lets speculate:
We know for sure that Shanghai Tier II has switched to Beijing for 2004. We also know that there is new ATP event for 2004 featuring Srichipan and Safin. Shanghai also successfully hosted Year End championships for men a few years ago.
I think the big announcement will be there will be Tier I in China in 2005 and also perhaps Tennis Masters Series ... both will probably be in Shanghai or Beijing. The events could be upgrades of the current events or China can buy tournament from currently troubled tournament (Berlin ? Moscow?