More WTA Players, More Sponsors, More TV Announced for Inaugural Shenzhen Longgang Gemdale Open

The US$500,000 Shenzhen Longgang Gemdale Open, a WTA International Series event, is proud to be able to announce that 42 year old “super come back athlete” Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan, will be playing at the Shenzhen Longgang Tennis Center, 29 December, 2012 to 5 January, 2013.

Since Kimiko began her comeback in 2008 she has ended the year in the top 100 the last four years. During her return she also became the first player ranked 40 or more to beat a player in the top 10 and she continues to set milestones in women’s tennis.  Date-Krumm recently won an event in Dubai and was a finalist at two other events, in Pune and Toyota.

The tournament had previously announced the participation of Li Na, Marion Bartoli, Jelena Jankovic and Laura Robson who will feature in the 32 player main draw.  Date-Krumm is currently a qualifier but could well make the main draw, should a main draw player withdraw due to injury or if she were to be awarded a wild card by the Tournament.

Another qualifying tournament player to look out for is the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina. She has made quite a burst in the last few months winning events in La Marsa and Telaviv as well as the WTA Challenger in Pune a few weeks ago, defeating Date-Krumm in the final.

Two players from China will be looking to continue on from their successful 2012 seasons. Duan Ying-Ying ranked 131 has won events in Washington, Goyang, Guncheon and Changwon, was a finalist in Suzhou and made the quarters of the Beijing challenger. Meanwhile Zheng Saisai, ranked 138, won in Taipei and Kurume, was a finalist in Wenshan, made the semis in Phuket and Kukuoka and was a quarter-finalist in Sanya and the Sydney challenger.

While so much focus has rightly been directed to Li Na for her achievements, it was Yan Zi who brought China its first Grand Slam title when she teamed with Zheng Jie to win the Australian Open and Wimbledon doubles crowns in 2006. Ranked as high as four, she also had the honour of winning a doubles bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics. Tennis fans will have the opportunity to see Zi in doubles action once again, this time playing as a wife and mother having given birth earlier this year and taken time away from tennis. Tournament organisers have already booked her rooms at the fabulous official hotel, the Crown Plaza Shenzhen Longgang City Centre.

Speaking of Li Na, she will play her first round match in prime time on either Sunday or Monday.

Preparations for the very first Shenzhen Longgang Gemdale Open are moving along very smoothly and at an incredible pace. The courts have all been resurfaced and are ready for what promises to be brilliant action from the ladies.

Two new sponsors had also extended their support to the event – one Chinese company and the other a global brand very familiar to world tennis. Yili Dairy has come on board to provide great yogurt products while the players will be chauffeured around in luxury in Mercedes Benz cars. The company is also a personal sponsor to Li.

The tournament has also started its own Weibo site which can be accessed via weibo.com/shenzhenopentennis which will provide constant updates from things that are happening at the tournament.

The television side of things has also been added to with Guangdong TV Sport Channel now confirmed to be the host broadcaster and will provide coverage from the final three days in addition to that of CCTV5. Matches will also be live streamed on the internet with details to be announced soon.

Tickets for the Shenzhen Longgang Gemdale Open are available through the official ticketing agency, Boyan Piao.  Tickets are available via the dedicated hotline on phone # 0755-82841888 / 82841666 or via the Shenzhen Longgang Cultural Center on # 89558888 or via the following websites, www.boyanpiao.com  or www.szyt.com .  Entry is free for the first day of qualifying and ticket prices range from RMB50 to RMB500 for the semi-finals and finals.

The event has an English and Chinese language website and it can be found at:  www.ShenzhenOpenTennis.com

The Shenzhen Longgang Gemdale Open is organized by the Shenzhen Municipal Government, Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Longgang Municipal Government,   CCTV IMG Management Company and the Chinese Tennis Association.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT : Ms. Robecta Yeung at 852-2894 0204 / 86 137 6037 3443 or email : Robecta.yeung@imgworld.com