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xan
Jul 27th, 2004, 03:02 PM
http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=tennisNews&storyID=5782912&section=news

Sharapova, Serena Williams to play in China Open
Tue 27 July, 2004 10:54


BEIJING, July 27 (Reuters) - Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova and beaten finalist Serena Williams will play at the first China Open in Beijing this September, organisers said on Tuesday.

Russian Sharapova and six-times grand slam champion Williams join a list of top male players at the event, including 2000 U.S. Open champion Marat Safin, former world number one Carlos Moya and number one Asian player Paradorn Srichaphan.

China Open director Lincoln Venancio said the aim was to develop the event into one of the world's top five tennis tournaments.

It will be held on 15 hard courts at the capital city's new tennis centre.

State television giant CCTV plans to broadcast it to as many as 700 million people and it is expected to reach the largest domestic audience for any tennis event.

Up to 600,000 people were expected to attend the September 10-26 tournament, which includes men's, women's, juniors' and seniors' brackets, organisers said.



A sixteen day tournament for both sexes, with Juniors, seniors etc? A "top five" event. Sure looks like the intention is to make it a slam.....

KoOlMaNsEaN
Jul 27th, 2004, 03:09 PM
it really does seem they're putting a ton of effort into this!!

jesper1979
Jul 27th, 2004, 03:10 PM
yeah it will happen, only though when eastern and christmas fall on the same day

Dava
Jul 27th, 2004, 03:11 PM
Well I hope they can make it a big event, especially with all these young Chinese girls coming uop through the ranks.

CJ07
Jul 27th, 2004, 03:15 PM
that would be wonderful.
It's amazing how many Asians are getting into tennis.
That's great to see

Williams Rulez
Jul 27th, 2004, 03:17 PM
an audience of 700million is very large... :eek:

Darop.
Jul 27th, 2004, 03:19 PM
I thinjk it would be great, but they'd have to move the even to some other time on the calendar, otherwise US Open and China Open will be too close together...

JennyS
Jul 27th, 2004, 03:34 PM
They are definetly going to need a better spot on the calendar to get a really strong field. I really suprised the men's field is as strong as it is considering it starts the day after the USO.

pierce0415
Jul 27th, 2004, 03:39 PM
Are the mens and womens events at the same time?

alfonsojose
Jul 27th, 2004, 04:24 PM
I think they're talking about big tournaments aside slams, like Indian Wells or Miami.

mboyle
Jul 27th, 2004, 04:26 PM
Nah, IW and Miami will remain the 5th and 6th biggest events on the calendar for some time.

nate_my_love
Jul 27th, 2004, 04:29 PM
This is such an amazing news. Wow!

Bezz
Jul 27th, 2004, 04:34 PM
If they are looking to get 700 million watchers, have both men, women and juniors, then this event will definitly eclipse the likes of IW and miami, the other slams have the history and prestige so are not likely to be outdone. I think its a good idea to move tennis into newer areas, i hope alot of top players decide to show up :)

azza
Jul 27th, 2004, 05:10 PM
:haha: :haha: Yer right ... :haha:

azza
Jul 27th, 2004, 05:10 PM
I thinjk it would be great, but they'd have to move the even to some other time on the calendar, otherwise US Open and China Open will be too close together...
Dario u FJ lover ;) :p

Atrixo
Jul 27th, 2004, 05:15 PM
This would be good for the WTA. China is prime market for women's tennis to tap; and by having a premier tournament there --- on the level of IW or Miami --- the tour can only benefit. :)