Re: Sania Mirza's place
Stars line up for Hong Kong event
9 hours ago
World number one Jelena Jankovic, Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova and India's Sania Mirza will headline January's revamped JB Group Classic exhibition tournament in Hong Kong.
The annual exhibition tournament will see teams from Europe, Russia, the Americas and Asia-Pacific competing in singles and doubles matches at Hong Kong's Victoria Park to fall in line with events such as the Hopman Cup and the ATP World Team Cup.
Sharapova will make her regular visit to Hong Kong ahead of her Australia Open defence and will spearhead the Russian challenge, with Williams leading the Americas team on her sixth visit to Hong Kong.
Last year Sharapova again used the Hong Kong event as her only warm-up before heading to Melbourne to win a third grand slam by beating three of the top four rank players from the quarter-finals stage.
Current world number one Jankovic will headline Europe's bid, while Mirza will take her place in the Asia-Pacific team.
"We are delighted to be inviting tennis stars who represent every corner of the World and are thrilled that world number one Jelena Jankovic is spearheading Team Europe," said the president of the Hong Kong Tennis Patrons' Association, Ian Wade.
"Jelena is one of the most popular and talented players on tour and a fierce competitor. She currently leads the WTA Tour Race and has won more matches than any other female player this year."
The remaining field for the event, which will be held from January 7-10, will be announced later in the year.