The 2011 Hong Kong Tennis Classic began yesterday on the hard courts at the Victoria Park Tennis Stadium in Causeway Bay, here in Hong Kong. The No.1 seeded Team Europe played No.4 seed’s Team Asia Pacific in the first semi final, which kicked off at 4:30pm local time today.
In the first match Aravane Rezai took on Hong Kong No.1 Zhang Ling, who replaced the injured Zheng Jie in the opening rubber. In the battle of each teams No.2 singles players, Rezai defeated Zhang 6-3 6-0 to put Team Europe ahead 1-0 ahead of the opening ceremony.
The “Feature Match” was between both Team Captain’s and No.1 players: World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki and Asia’s No.1 Li Na. The 20-year-old Wozniacki from Denmark (pictured above), won 6-4 6-3 in her first match in preparation for her bid for the 2011 Australian Open title where she will be the No.1 seed.
In the third match Mark Philippoussis looked to keep Team Asia Pacific’s chances alive by taking the World Team Challenge to 1-2. The former World No.8 took the 1st set 7-5 from former World No.1 Stefan Edberg before Edberg evened the match at 1 set all by clinching the 2nd set by 7 points to 3 in a tie break. The final set in the Legends singles matches are decided by a 10-point Match tie break and Edberg, who was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004 won by 10 points to 8.
The final rubber of each tie is a mixed doubles and Team Europe’s pairing of Wozniacki and Edberg who had already sealed their position in the Gold Group Final on Saturday, defeated Team Asia Pacific’s Li and Philippoussis 6-3 6-2 just short of midnight.
This event continues for the next 3 days with the 2nd semi final being played today between No.2 seed Team Russia and No.3 seed The Americas. At 4:30pm on Thursday 6 January Maria Kirilenko plays Melanie Oudin, followed by the feature match between World No.2 Vera Zvonareva and No.5 Venus Williams. The men’s legend singles follows that with Yevgeny Kafelnikov taking on John McEnroe before they join Zvonareva and Venus respectively, in the mixed doubles match.
There are 2 days of Finals, the play-off for 3rd place on Friday 7 January called the Silver Group Final and THE Final on Saturday 8 January, which is called the Gold Group Final. If you need help buying tickets click here for official tickets.
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