The five Asian stars will take their places in the main draw alongside leading European and Russian stars, Ana Ivanovic, Maria Kirilenko, Sabine Lisicki, Sorana Cirstea, Heather Watson and Laura Robson.
Su-Wei Hseih is likely to lead the challenge after her meteoric rise to No 25 in the world rankings in 2012. Her best results have come in Asia including a semi-final appearance in Pattaya last year.
The Japanese trio have regularly appeared in PTT Pattaya Open and will hope to improve on the best performance in 2012, when Misaki Doi and Kimiko Date-Krumm both beat local opponents before falling in the 2nd round to Cirstea and Hsieh respectively.
In addition to the 5 Japanese and Taiwanese, 2 of Thailand’s brightest young tennis players have also been invited to compete in the tournament after Luksika Kumkhum and Varatchaya Wongteanchai were both given wild cards into the main draw. Kumkhum was granted entry on the strength of her recent performances which have seen her rise into the top 200 in the world rankings. As a result of her first round victory in the Australian Open over Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson, she became the only Thai woman tennis player after Tamarine Tanasugarn to win a match in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament.
Wongteanchai gained a main draw wild card thanks to her win at the ATF Asian Tennis Championships held in Bangkok in December. She beat Kumkhum in the final of that event to earn her place in the Pattaya tournament.
The 16-draw qualifying competition will be held on 27–28 January, with main draw matches commencing on 28 January and play starting from 15.00 daily, excepting the semi-finals on Saturday 02 February and the finals on Sunday 03 February, when play begins at 16.00.
Tickets for the PTT Pattaya Open are on sale at 300, 500, 800 and 1,200 baht.
For more information on the tournament and tickets, please contact Pentangle Promotions Co., Ltd at Tel: 02-3113414/5 website www.pentanglepromotions.com or at Thaiticketmajor on 02-262-3456, website www. thaiticketmajor.com.