After Wismilak departure, now officially Bank Commonwealth Tennis Classic 2007!
Today, I attended the presscon of WTA Bali Tour at Grand Hyatt Hotel Jakarta. The presscon started at 2.30 pm with introduction by the tourney director, Mr Kevin Livesey. After 13 years of Wismilak as the sponsor, eventually they handed over to Aussie base Bank Commonwealth to be its major sponsor of this tier 3 A tourney to be held at Grand Hyatt Hotel, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia.
Here, are the early committed players:
1. Svetlana Kuznetsova (WTA 3) - If she plays Fed Cup for Russia in the final, then she will be absent
2. Jelena Jankovic (WTA 5)
3. Nadia Petrova (WTA 12) - from recorder, Nadia's voice echoed: see you in Bali!
4. Daniela Hantuchova (WTA 13)
5. Patty Schnyder - from recorder, Patty's voice also can be heard - see you again in Bali! She passed the message also that Bali is always the 1st tourney she entered in the beginning of the year when she fills out an entry form!
6. Tatiana Golovin (WTA 16) - Tatiiiii...please, stay healthy!!!
7. Francesca Schiavone (WTA 28)
8. Michaella Krajicek (WTA 40) - ugh yeah, Dutch or Czech lady???
9. Zheng Jie (WTA 52)
10. Alicia Molik (WTA 58)
11. Flavia Pennetta (WTA 67)
Under negotiation: Ana Ivanovic and other Chinese players at Wimby later...At the lounge out of the Krakatoa room, Ana was in the big poster as Adidas gal with the newest outfit...
I have concerned all this time with Wismilak. Wismilak is a tobacco company and it is risky to sponsor such tennis tourney. Actually, Wismilak is still involved as part of the committee and co-sponsor. Mr Willy Walla will stay as the Chairman of the tourney. Bank Commonwealth as of now is committed for the first 2 years and they will have bigger meeting in June or July, Bank C'wealth is likely to extend its sponsorship to additional 3 years, so total of 5 years.
The president of Indonesian Tennis Association was there out of surprise by many. She was actually the one who told the floor about the history of the tourney. Back in 1993, when she was an official in ITA, she met Mr Livesey and they looked for a sponsor for 25K but then Mr Livesey hooked-up with Mr Walla, CEO of Wismilak and they began their partnership until today. 2 years ago, Mr Walla's wife, Maria Catharina Rosalina Ali was diagnosed with cancer and immediately, Mr Walla's family asked him to let go the tourney. But Mr Walla kept on his commitment. Last Wednesday, on May 22, 2007 - Mrs Walla passed away. She will be buried tomorrow in Surabaya. Deepest condolences to Mr Walla and family. His legacy will be treasured indeed.
As always, the committee will give 1 WC MD and WC Qual to Indonesian players. Mrs Widjaja seemed so sure that Sandy Gumulya would get it. LOL...
Video was shown also about 13 years of Wismilak. From 1994 till 2006 full of images of winners of course.
The participants of this presscon all got goodie bag full of merchandises - pen from Bank C'wealth, Bank C'wealth's writing pad, 2 baseball caps from Sony Ericsson and Bank C'wealth, t-shirts from Wismilak (designed by Adidas) and also from Sony Ericsson, and a drinking bottle black or grey from Adidas.
There were also door prizes for all the participants today. 2 cellphones by Sony Ericsson were given out for the lucky ones.
All in all, it was well-organized presscon despite the big loss of Mr Walla's wife.