Top tennis stars arrive in Pattaya, Luangnam gets main draw wild card

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Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, the last of the top three seeds at the PTT Pattaya Open, arrived in Thailand on Tuesday night to join Russian superstars Vera Zvonareva and Maria Kirilenko in Pattaya for the start of next week’s US$220,000 PTT Pattaya Open which is being held at the Dusit Thani Pattaya hotel from 6–13 February.

All three players have opted to skip this week’s Fed Cup and prepare for the Pattaya tournament instead.  World No 2 Vera Zvonareva of Russia, who has won the title for the last two years and is on a hat-trick of titles this year, is coming directly from the Australian Open where she once again proved she is one of the top players in the world by reaching the semi-finals before bowing out to eventual champion Kim Clijsters.

World No 2 Vera Zvonareva has arrived in Pattaya determined to defend her crown.World No 2 Vera Zvonareva has arrived in Pattaya determined to defend her crown.

For Ivanovic this will be her first visit to Thailand, and the former World No 1 and Grand Slam champion arrives here following a disappointing time in Australia where she was forced to withdraw from Sydney with a stomach injury and was less than fully fit when competing in the Australian Open.  However she arrives in Thailand on the back of wins in Linz and Bali at the end of last year, which signaled a renaissance in her form.

“This will be my first time in Thailand.  It’s always fun to visit new countries and I have been lucky enough to visit so many that these days I don’t often go to new places,” said the Serbian star.  “I’ve heard many great things about Thailand, so I am sure I will enjoy this event, which is close to the beach.”

The Organising Committee of the tournament have also announced that the final wild card in the singles main draw would be given to Thailand’s Nudnida Luangnam on the basis of her performance in the tournament in 2010, where she won through the qualifying rounds and lost a close three set match in the opening round of the main draw.

The main draw matches will start on 7 February with play commencing from 15.00 daily. Tickets are available at 300, 500,800 and 1,200 baht at www.pentanglepromotions.com or through www.thaiticketmajor.com.  For more information about the tournament call Pentangle Promotions on 02-3113414/5.