PTT Pattaya Open 2012 gets underway at Dusit Thani Pattaya

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Finals to be played this weekend

This year’s PTT Pattaya Open officially began following a press conference held last Sunday, 5 February 2012 at the Napalai Convention Hall of Dusit Thani Pattaya.  The event was attended by all the sponsors and the participating tennis stars such as the tournament’s number one seed and world No. 8 player Vera Zvonareva of Russia and number 2 seed Dominika Cibulková.

Zvonareva, the winner here in 2009 and 2010 is looking for a hat trick of wins after losing out in the semi-finals at last year’s tournament but will face fierce competition from Cibulková, fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko, China’s Jie Zheng and the defending champion, Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova.

Tennis stars, sponsors and dignitaries attend the press conference for the 2012 PTT Pattaya Open held at the Dusit Thani Pattaya, Sunday, Feb. 5.Tennis stars, sponsors and dignitaries attend the press conference for the 2012 PTT Pattaya Open held at the Dusit Thani Pattaya, Sunday, Feb. 5.

Part of the highlights during the press conference was the drawing of the singles competition for this US$220,000 WTA sanctioned event, with Zvonareva and Cibulková seeded to meet in the final should they both get that far.

The weeklong event from 5-12 February has previously been voted as Tournament of the Year by the WTA tour players who cite reasons such as the unique experience they have in the resort city of Pattaya and the relaxed atmosphere as well as the warm hospitality from Dusit Thani Pattaya, the tournament’s host hotel for 21 years now.

Chinese Taipei’s Kai-Chen Chang showed strong form in the qualifiers on Sunday and Monday.Chinese Taipei’s Kai-Chen Chang showed strong form in the qualifiers on Sunday and Monday.

With many players still arriving from around the world following their Fed Cup matches at the weekend, there were only two main draw matches on Monday.  Australia’s Anastasia Rodionova advanced into the second round in comfort by beating Frenchwoman Irnya Bremond 6-4 6-0.  She saved all five break points she faced in the match, after getting off to a perfect start with an early break in the first set and then dominating the second by winning an impressive 76 percent of the points.

Seventh seed Sonara Cirstea from Romania then took to the court against Erika Sema of Japan and, like Rodionova, wasted little time in advancing with a 6-2 6-2 victory.

The qualifying rounds were completed, with Chinese Taipei’s Kai-Chen Chang overwhelming Cagla Buyukakcay 6-0 6-2 and her compatriot Su-Wei Hsieh beating Qiang Wang of China 6-4 6-3.  Su-Wei is in Pattaya for the first since 2008, when she contested the doubles final with Vania King.  A full program featuring all the tops stars was due to get underway at press time on Tuesday.

Come tournament finals on Sunday 12 February, the stadium of Dusit Thani Pattaya will once again be filled with tennis fans that will be supporting their favourite players.  The PTT Pattaya Open has continued to hold its reputation of bringing in international athletes to the resort city thereby giving it the recognition as a great destination for world sport tournaments.

Note:  Advance and same day ticket purchases priced at 300, 500, 800 and 1,200 baht can be made at the venue daily from 10.00 a.m.  The ticket booth is located adjacent to the main grandstand.