STARS CONFIRMED FOR HONG KONG EVENT
By Andrew Mullen, PA Sport, Hong Kong
Wimbledon champion Venus Williams and world number six Maria Sharapova
will headline the field at the JB Group Classic in Hong Kong in January.
French Open finalist and world number four Ana Ivanovic from Croatia, Russian world number seven Anna Chakvetadze, rising Danish star Caroline Wozniacki and Chinese number two Peng Shuai will also feature at the annual hardcourt exhibition event, which takes place at Hong Kong's Victoria Park from January 2-5.
The eight-player line-up will be completed following the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, with another of the world's top 10 set to be confirmed.
Sharapova, who lost out to defending champion Kim Clijsters in last year's final, used the 2007 event as her only warm-up to the Australian Open.
The event offers players a chance to step up preparations for the first grand slam of the year, which begins in Melbourne on January 14.
"Our annual tournament is a highlight of Hong Kong's sporting calendar; over the last 30 years, the biggest names in tennis have chosen to play here," said Hong Kong Tennis Patrons' Association president Ian Wade.
"They include Boris Becker, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, and a host of others."