The seven Asian stars will take their places in the main draw alongside leading European and Russian stars, Sabine Lisicki, Sorana Cirstea, Vera Zvonareva, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.
Of the Asian players Shuai Zhang comes into the tournament with the best form having won 2 WTA titles on home ground in China and reached the final in a third event n Ningbo. Her wins came in Guangzhou and Nanjing.
The Japanese quartet have also enjoyed their best results in Asia; Ayumi Morita was a finalist in Nanjing and a semi-finalist in Kuala Lumpur, Kimiko Date-Krumm was a quarter-finalist in Seoul and Kurumi Nara reached the semi-final in Osaka. Su-Wei Hsieh had a disappointing season, with her best result coming with a quarter-final finish in Kuala Lumpur.
In addition to the 7 Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese stars at least 4 Thai players are expected to compete in the tournament. Luksika Kumkhum has gained automatic acceptance through her ranking and the remainder of the Thai players will compete courtesy of wild cards into the main draw and qualifying rounds.
The PTT Pattaya Open has become synonymous with “tennis by the sea” and remains unique on the professional women’s tennis tour, in that it is played in a 5-star hotel with a beachside location, where the tennis courts almost touch the sea. The compact stadium was expanded in 2011 to seat a little over 2,500 spectators on finals weekend, this capacity increase was needed as the number of spectators in 2011 and again in 2012 and 2013 has increased year on year.
There has also a surge in print and electronic media coverage and “live” TV broadcasts, not just in Thailand, but in Asia, Europe and the Americas as well. The tournament this year will be televised on Siam Keelah “live” on weekdays from 15.00 and on NBT and T- Sports on semi-finals and finals day from 16.00. In addition, the tournament will also be broadcast “live” internationally each day from the beginning of play.
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
Ayumi Morita. (AP Photo)
The stadium at the Dusit Thani Hotel was expanded in 2011 to accommodate more spectators at this popular annual WTA tournament.