The US$220,000 PTT Pattaya Open, WTA professional women tennis tournament has attracted one of the most competitive fields ever with over a dozen players capable of lifting the trophy and taking home the US$37,000 winner’s cheque.
In addition to leading tennis stars, Vera Zvonareva of Russia, Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, Maria Kirilenko of Russia and Zhang Jie of China there are several other players who have the capability to cause upsets and win the PTT Pattaya Open which will be held at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Pattaya from 5–12 February 2012.
(AP Photo/John Donegan)
Returning from injury are Sorana Cirstea of Romania and Sania Mirza of India. Cirstea is one of the most attractive players on the WTA Tour and she rose as high as number 23, before an injury plagued season dropped her down to No 60. This week she showed her potential in knocking out World No 5 Sam Stosur at the Australian Open. Mirza is well-known to Thai fans and reached the final here in 2009 losing to Zvonareva. She was moving back up the rankings in 2011, before an injury in the 2nd half of the season halted her charge.
Other strong challenges will come from the British and Japanese contingents. There is a 3 strong British line-up including Heather Watson, Laura Robson and Anne Keothavong. Robson is known to Thai fans after she defeated Noppawan Lertcheewakarn in the Junior Wimbledon final at the age of 14 in 2008. Keothavong is the more experienced of the trio and at the end of last season was in good form reaching the semi-final in Luxembourg.
The top 4 ranked Japanese players are also competing in Pattaya; their challenge is led by Ayumi Morita who broke into the top 50 for the first time in 2011, veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm returns for the fourth successive year, while Misaki Doi and Erika Sema round out the quartet of Japanese players.
Tamarine Tanasugarn will lead the Thai team, she is coming for the 18th successive year in Pattaya and after reaching 2 finals in 1996 and 2010 she will be looking to go one better this year. Tamarine will be joined in the main draw by Thai wild cards entries which will be announced at a press conference this coming Friday.
The main draw singles and doubles matches commence on 6 February with play starting from 15.00 daily, including the finals on Sunday 12 February. Tickets are available 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 or via the website at www.pentanglepromotions. com or through ThaiTicketMajor Co., Ltd at 02-2623456 or website www.thaiticket major.com
The PTT Pattaya Open is supported by PTT Public Company Limited, Pattaya City, Sports Authority of Thailand, Chonburi Province, Chang Drinking Water, Sony Ericsson, Peak Sporting Goods, Jetstar, Dusit Thani Hotel, Pattaya, Wilson, Yonex, TOT Public Company Limited, Philips Lighting, Tez Tour and Bangkok Pattaya Hospital.