Oct 28, 2009

Safin, Sharapova among tennis stars to kick off 2010 at the Hong Kong Tennis Classic

Looks like it has becoming a trend in Asia (e.g. Doha, Malaysia, etc) where tennis events are heavily bankrolled by their respective governments.

Now the same thing is happening to the yearly tennis exhibition JB Classic after its title sponsor pulled out recently.

A new event with different format has taken over - the Hong Kong Tennis Classic 2010.

Next January, teams from four regions of the world (Russia, Asia, America and Europe) will consist of two ladies and a man.

Team Russia: Marat Safin, Maria Sharapova, Vera Zvonareva
Team Asia: Paradorn Srichaphan, Zheng Jie, Ayumi Morita
Team America: Michael Chang, Venus Williams, Gisela Dulko
Team Europe: Stefan Edberg, Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka

The new team format will feature women’s & men’s singles and mixed doubles matches over four days of action packed tennis at Victoria Park.

Tickets for the Hong Kong Tennis Classic will be on sale from the beginning of December. Details will be announced in due course.

For more information, please contact the following:
KCE Sport and Entertainment
Mr. Terry Catton, Co-Tournament Director
Ms. Amy Tsang, PR & Communications Manager
Tel: (852) 2723 8721/ (852)9809 8710 Fax: (852) 2311 0040

Oct 26, 2009

The Real Glam Slam in Doha

All top eight women's players attended the draw ceremony for the WTA Championships at the Museum of Islamic Art in the Qatari capital Doha yesterday.

Round robin groups for the Sony Ericsson year-end championships are:

Dinara Safina
Caroline Wozniacki
Victoria Azarenka
Jelena Jankovic

Serena Williams
Svetlana Kuznetsova
Elena Dementieva
Venus Williams

The top two finishers in each group advance to the semifinals, where each first-placed player will face the second-placed player from the other group.

The 1.55-million-dollar championship willl be held between October 27 and November 1.

World no.2 Serena Williams

World no. 7 Venus Williams

World no. 5 Elena Dementieva

Svetlana Kuznetsova (no. 3), Dinara Safina (no.1), Caroline Wozniacki (no.4)

Victoria Azarenka (no. 6), Jelena Jankovic (no.8)

(Images by Getty Images)

Anna Kournikova super late for launch in KL and 'left with no fans'?

This photo was twitpic-ed by Noradzliyana, who asked me if the Showdown of Champions 2009 launch was confirmed this morning.

Anna Kournikova was super late for the launch. She was scheduled to launch the exho event together with the Tourism Minister Dato' Dr. Ng Yen Yen at 10.15AM but only to arrive at 2.30PM.

I guess the Tourism Minister didn't wait for her.

So when Kournikova arrived, she had coffee (or maybe tea) with the officials, gimmick launch without the Tourism Minister and then photo shooting.

Kournikova was supposed to meet the junior players at 3.00PM at National Tennis Centre at Jalan Duta. So I guess the boys and girls had to wait a bit.

Now coming back to Kournikova's picture above... guess what's missing?

Of course the FANS!!! (Check out the tourist in the background.. he rather snap a picture of the building than Kournikova!)

Nobody' f**king knew Kournikova was in Kuala Lumpur because the organisers decided to make it a national top secret.

They should learn from Malaysian GP's organiser.

Be more transparent and announce to the fans so that more people will have the chance to meet tennis celebrities like Kournikova.

Either you keep the tennis celebrities to yourself or boost ticket sales by getting more people involved.

Now here's a better view of Kournikova by Glenn Guan/The Star.

For more info regarding Showdown of Champions 2009, which will be featuring Elena Dementieva, Maria Kirilenko, Sania Mirza and Zheng Jie, in December, go to

Weekend winners: Youzhny, Schiavone, Baghdatis, Bacsinszky

Mikhail Youzhny beat Janko Tipsarevic to win 6-7 (5), 6-0, 6-4 at Kremlin Cup to earn his fifth career title and extend Russia’s winning streak at the home event to six straight years.

In the women's final, Italian Francesca Schiavone defeated Olga Govortsova 6-3, 6-0 to win her second career title.

Meanwhile in Stockholm, Sweden, Marcos Baghdatis beat Olivier Rochus 6-1, 7-5 for his third career ATP Tour singles title just a week after learning he had gained the event’s main draw.

Baghdatis was playing a Challenger event in Tashkent when he got the news.

At the Luxembourg Open, unseeded Timea Bacsinszky won her first WTA Tour title, beating sixth-seeded Sabine Lisicki 6-2, 7-5.

(Images via Yahoo! Sports)

Oct 25, 2009

Great entertainment at The Venetian Macao exhibition

I seldom blog about tennis exhibition (unless it's local) but I thought The Venetian Macao Tennis Showdown deserved a mention.

Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Yuki Bhambri and Ryan Harrison were in Macau, the former Portuguese colony for the weekend to provide some good tennis entertainment.

Aaron Kwok was starstrucked! I can't stand his 'thumbs up' gestures LOL!

I didn't watch the entire show on Astro SuperSport CH816, but managed to spot some famous Hong Kong celebrities including Aaron Kwok (the coin tosser :D), Eason Chan and Sam Lee.

Even Coco Lee was there twittering from the front row seat.

In the highlight of the event, Sampras defeated Agassi in three sets as the two retired American tennis greats revisited as one of the sport’s greatest rivalries.

This is the first time the two had played since Sampras won in the 2002 US Open final for his then-record 14th Grand Slam.

There were other entertainment that evening including a drum solo (bucket beats by a street drummer?) and mime show.

Match Results:
Yuki Bhambri (IND) def. Ryan Harrison (USA) 5-5
Pete Sampras (USA) def. Andre Agassi (USA) 3-6 6-3 10-8
P. Sampras (USA) & Y. Bhambri (IND) def. A. Agassi (USA) & R. Harrison (USA) 7-5

(Images via Reuters,

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