ATP World Tour Stars Celebrate Tennis In Asia

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Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

Instrumental figures in the growth of professional tennis in Asia over the past four decades, including Kei Nishikori, Vijay Amritraj, Michael Chang, Leander Paes, Shuzo Matsuoka, Paradorn Srichaphan and Yen-Hsun Lu, came together Monday night at the Wardorf Astoria in Shanghai as part of an ATP celebration of the sport’s development in the region.

Current and former players discussed in an on-stage Q&A how their own success stories helped to grow the number of Asian players competing on the ATP World Tour and ATP Challenger Tour. There were just three Asians in the Top 200 of the Emirates ATP Rankings five years ago, but today 17 players are all able to compete closer to home in eight ATP World Tour and 33 ATP Challenger Tour tournaments held each year in Asia.

New and fast rising stars, Nick Kyrgios, whose mother is Malaysian, South Korea’s Hyeon Chung, Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka and Zhang ZhiZhen of China, later shared their experiences of playing at Asian tournaments, such as this week’s Shanghai Rolex Masters, and their goals for the future.

ATP Executive Chairman and President Chris Kermode said, “The ATP World Tour has come a long way in Asia in a relatively short space of time, and we’re very proud to have some of our biggest events on the Tour in this region, none more so than this week’s Shanghai Rolex Masters. Tonight is one of those special occasions where we have players past, present and future come together all under one roof, and we look forward to continuing the growth of men’s professional tennis in Asia in the future.”

Afterwards, Kermode and Alison Lee, the ATP’s Executive Vice President, International Group, joined the players to pose for a group photo to mark the historic event, which was supported by Moët & Chandon and Emirates Airlines. More than 100 guests, including tournament directors, sponsors, officials and international media, attended the celebration of Asian men’s tennis.

Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.