Hangzhou to host star-studded tennis exhibition tournament ahead of Asian Games
Published: May 31, 2023 10:05 PM
Photo: The torch non-fungible token (NFT) issued by 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou

Photo: The torch non-fungible token (NFT) issued by 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou

Hangzhou in East China's Zhejiang Province will host a star-studded exhibition tennis tournament in June, participated by men's former world No.1 Carlos Moya of Spain and Marat Safin of Russia.

The players, also including 2009 US Open champion Juan Martín del Potro of Argentina and former world No.3 David Ferrer of Spain, will compete in a four-day event from June 22 to 25.

Emma Raducanu of Britain, the women's singles winner at the 2021 US Open and whose mother is Chinese, will serve as the ambassador for the event. 

The Brit has been sidelined since the Stuttgart Open in May as she had to undergo surgeries on her wrists and ankles. Her participation is expected to raise the awareness and popularity of tennis among Chinese.

Emerging Chinese tennis players, including Li Zhe, He Yecong and Wang Xiaofei, will join to challenge the tennis greats at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium.

The International Tennis Masters (ITM) was previously held in 2019, when tennis legend Roger Federer of Switzerland and Olympic champion Alexander Zverev of Germany led the player list. 

The 2023 event comes as Hangzhou is preparing to host the Asian Games, which is scheduled to take place in the city from September 23 to October 8. A series of events have been scheduled as the city runs pressure test events in the buildup to the Games.

The tournament will adopt a points-based competition format for both singles and doubles matches, with the team that reaches nine points first taking the overall victory. 

The hosting venue, the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium, boasts 18,000 seats. The arena will serve as the basketball venue rather than tennis for the Asian Games. It hosted two games of the CBA finals earlier in May. 

Hu Haiquan, a popular Chinese singer, will perform at the opening ceremony of the tournament, and the Hangzhou Song and Dance Troupe will perform an original Song Dynasty-inspired dance, organizers said. 

The exhibition tournament is expected to draw a large amount of spectators as the country celebrates the Dragon Boat Festival on June 22 with a three-day holiday.

Global Times