Radwanska and Kvitova Will Headline at Shenzhen Open

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

Shenzhen Open Tennis News

Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova will spearhead the field as the WTA tennis season opens with the USD 500,000 Shenzhen Open, which takes place January 2 – 9, 2016 at the Shenzhen Longgang Sports Center.

For both Radwanska and Kvitova, Asia is an extremely happy hunting ground as both have won titles on the continent, and they played off in the final of the recent season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore where Radwanska claimed the biggest title of her career.

In addition to “Aga” and Petra, tournament officials are also thrilled to announce the tennis return of 2014 Wimbledon finalist, Eugenie Bouchard. In addition, the city of Shenzhen is pleased to announce that two-time Shenzhen Open Champion Li Na will launch the first ever Li Na Kids Day for talented young tennis players from the greater Shenzhen area.

Radwanska, ranked #5 in the season ending rankings this year, was a semi-finalist at Wimbledon and then had a superb fourth quarter. She reached the semifinals of the China Open, won Tianjin her second title of the season without the loss of a set, and then claimed the WTA Finals in Singapore.

Kvitova meanwhile saw her quality results spread across the year. She started things by making the semis at the Shenzhen Open and a week later won the title in Sydney. That was the first of her three titles during the year with the others coming at Madrid where she beat Serena Williams, and in New Haven where she accounted for Radwanska, Caroline Wozniacki and Lucie Safarova in back-to-back matches. Kvitova made the Singapore final and was a quarter-finalist twice, including the US Open. Most recently she helped the Czech Republic win its second consecutive and ninth overall Fed Cup.  She has won 17 career titles and ended 2015 ranked #6.

“I am very happy to be coming back to Shenzhen. Last year I had a very nice time, everyone was very kind and it was also very nice to see my good friend Li Na when I was there. I look forward to playing there again, to seeing Li Na again and I hope I can win the tournament this time,” Kvitova said.

“The announcement of Agnieszka Radwanska, Petra Kvitova and Genie Bouchard as our first drawcards makes us very excited about the growth and development of the fourth addition of the Shenzhen Open and on behalf of Shenzhen, Longgang, our sponsors, fans and the tournament team, we are most touched by the support that Li Na has afforded us.  We are truly honored that she has selected Shenzhen to launch and host her first ever Li Na Kids Day at the Shenzhen Open 2016,” Ke Gangming, Deputy Director General of Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sport and Tourism said.

The Li Na Kids Day is the personal inspiration of Li Na and was inspired by what she experienced during the Arthur Ashe Kids day at the US Open. Designed to fuel the next generation of talented Chinese tennis playing youngsters from schools from around the Shenzhen area, the program will be open initially to 40 talented youngsters selected in Shenzhen.

The lucky boys and girls will be able to enjoy a special one hour tennis clinic conducted by Li Na and WTA players, a question and answer session where they can ask China’s most famous sporting couple questions about tennis, tournament experiences, training and more, and have a one-on-one “selfie” photo to share on their social media.  Li Na Kids day will take place at the tournament site on Friday, January 1, 2016 (Time : TBC).

Li Na said: “Having been part of Arthur Ashe Kids day in New York, I have always wanted to start something similar in China, even more so now that I am a mother, and I am excited to launch this at one of my favorite tournaments, the Shenzhen Open. Let’s see how we can build and develop the Li Na Kids day over the years. Even if we help one child win a tough match or inspire one child to play more tennis, we will have succeeded – anything above that will be a bonus.”

For Bouchard the 2015 year was unfortunately a season dominated by frustrating injuries that included a freak accident at the US Open which forced her out of the Asian swing of events, just when her form was starting to pick up. Despite the frustrations she still made the quarters at the Australian Open and the last 16 five times.

The 21 year old’s talent is without question and with new coach Tomas Hogstedt who coached Simona Halep to victory in Shenzhen in 2015, she will be eagerly awaiting her first match of the year in China. Bouchard became the first Canadian to reach the final of a major, at Wimbledon in 2014, and that year also made the semi-finals of the Australian Open and French Open and reached a career high of five in the rankings.

“We are very proud to once again be the premier sponsor of the Shenzhen Open,” Edward N. Wang, Strategic Director of Gemdale Corporation said. “This is our fourth year of association with the tournament and to see it growing time and for us being connected with so many great players who have participated has been very exciting. It will be great to see Petra Kvitova return and we look forward to making Agnieszka Radwanska and Eugenie Bouchard feel welcome as well as seeing the first Li Na Kids day in Shenzhen.”

Shu Li, Vice President of Kaisa Culture Group said: “In 2016 it will be our third year of our premier association with the Shenzhen Open. The tournament has attracted so many wonderful names from women’s tennis since the first year and in January that promises to continue with the three players announced today. At Kaisa it continues to be a pleasure to be associated with the event and even more so now with the launch of Li Na Kids day, which is an honor for Shenzhen.”

Li Lingwei, Director of Tennis Administration Center of the General Administration of Sport of China and Deputy Chairwoman of the Chinese Tennis Association added: “The Shenzhen Open is an important event for tennis in China, especially with the many high level playing opportunities the event offers to Chinese players, who have done exceptionally well in Shenzhen.  We are very proud to be associated with the tournament and we want to thank IMG, Shenzhen and Longgang, Gemdale and Kaisa, CCTV5 and all the sponsors for putting on a first class show and making everyone feel so welcome.”

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