The 2011 Hong Kong Tennis Classic is a singles exhibition tournament played on hard courts at the Victoria Park Tennis Stadium in Causeway Bay. The Hong Kong Tennis Classic is a world team challenge organised by the Hong Kong Tennis Patron’s Association Limited.
This event begins on January 5 and concludes with 2 Finals on Saturday 8 January. For the second year in a row, there is no title sponsor so the Hong Kong government supports this event via the Hong Kong Tourism Commission’s Mega Events Fund and its subvented by the Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department.
The event format sees 4 teams participate and represent 4 regions in the world. The teams have 3 players each, 2 women and a retired “legend” from men’s tour. The draw was decided according to the combined WTA Tour singles ranking of the women for each team.
Each women’s singles match is a best of 3 tie break sets, whereas the men’s singles match is the best of 2 tie break sets with a Match Tie Break to be played if the sets are tied at 1 set each. The final match of each team challenge is a mixed doubles. The No.2 woman from each team plays first and is followed by the “Feature Match” between the No.1 ranked woman from each team. Every challenge follows this format including the finals.
If after the 4 matches the challenge is tied at 2 wins each then a “Golden Match Tie Break” is played to decide who wins the challenge and qualifies for the Gold Group Final (for 1st place), hence the name Golden Match Tie Break. The losing team will play for 3rd place in the Silver Group Final.
Pictured above is the WTA Tour World No.1 Caroline WOZNIACKI who is the captain of TEAM Europe in Hong Kong’s world team challenge. The 20-year-old from Denmark said “Growing up I always had two goals. One was to become number one in the world and the second one was to win a Grand Slam title.”
The 2009 US Open singles runner-up said,”If it is going to be this year no one knows, but I am going to fight hard for it.” The 1.77m Wozniacki indicated what she is working on in her game in 2011 when she said, “You can always improve, but I am just taking one step at a time, as I am still young. Serve returns at key points in the game are always important and those are the things I am working on, but I am always looking to improve my all-round game.”
In response to the criticism of her being playing a defensive game style, the 2006 Wimbledon Junior singles champion replied, “They say, don’t repair something that isn’t broken. So if something is working out for me, there is no need to change it.” The 2006 Australian Open Junior singles runner-up continued, “I can play an all-round game. I can play aggressively when I want to, I can run, I can serve return and I can do pretty much what I have to do to win. If it doesn’t work out I have to work to better to improve, to be better for the next game.”
- EUROPE: Caroline Wozniacki, Aravane Rezai & Stefan Edberg
- RUSSIA: Vera Zvonareva, Maria Kirilenko & Yevgeny Kafelnikov
- THE AMERICAS: Venus Williams, Melanie Oudin & John McEnroe
- ASIA PACIFIC: Li Na, Zhang Ling & Mark Philippoussis
- More details to follow ASAP including a brief run down on each player…
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Please note that the tournament management can alter the schedule from day to day and that all times listed below are local times in Hong Kong.
The schedule of play for the 2011 Hong Kong Tennis Classic is:
- Wednesday 5 January: Team Europe versus Team Asia Pacific at 4:30pm to 11pm approx;
- Thursday 6 January: Team Russia versus Team Americas at 4:30pm to 11pm approx;
- Friday 7 January: Silver Group Final from 4:30pm to 11pm approx; and
- Saturday 8 January: Gold Group Final from 11am to 7pm approx.
Stay tuned to this tennis website for full coverage of every Grand Slam tournament and every major women’s and men’s tennis tournament on the WTA and ATP Tours. Click this link for further details about the Australian Open -> Australian Open 2011: January 12-30.
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photo credit: angelicalbite