Serena, Sania to play in Bangalore
BANGALORE, DEC 18 (PTI)
Serena Williams is set to enthrall the Indian audience with her exciting power tennis when she appears for the first time in the country in the Sony Ericsson International to be held here at the KSLTA Stadium from February 12-18 next year.
Sania Mirza would be the other star attraction in this 32-draw, USD 1,75,000 prize money tournament -- India's biggest WTA Tour event, to be co-hosted by the Karnataka Government and Karnatake State Lawn Tennis Association.
Sania said she was looking forward to playing in the event.
"Sony Ericsson, who are also the Tour title sponsors, have had a major impact on the WTA Tour. They have helped tennis broaden its appeal to new audiences. I look forward to the newly created tier-3 tournament in the New Year in my country," she said at a press conference here today.
Serena, in her message flashed on the screen at the launch, said, "I'm very excited to be playing in Bangalore. Tennis as a sport has become more and more popular in India and I hope many fans of all ages will come out and see us play. I always look forward to visiting a new country and playing in new good tournaments."
Dee Dutta, corporate vice-president and head of marketing at Sony Ericsson, said they were hopeful of a long-term association with the Bangalore chapter.
Later, taking on some volleys from the media, Sania said she was hoping for the best in the season ahead.
"I've just got back from Doha with a singles silver. I've a couple of weeks time before I leave for Australia for Hopman Cup. I'm feeling good and feeling fit," the 20-year-old said.
"I have not had any injuries in the last few of months. I'm looking forward to 2007 now," Sania said.
"Singles is my priority. But I always give equal importance to doubles. I'm a singles player and it's too early to say in my career that I will play only doubles or mixed doubles. I want to play as much as I can and as long as my body permits me to," added Sania.