World class tennis returns to Hong Kong after a two-year absence as a pair of Top 10 stars of women’s tennis will be joined by two legends of the men’s game for the BNP Paribas Showdown on 4 March 2013 at the AsiaWorld-Arena.
Wimbledon finalist and current World No. 4 Agnieska Radwanska will take on two-time year-end world No.1 and Grand Slam finalist Caroline Wozniacki while eight-time Grand Slam champion Ivan Lendl will renew his rivalry with John McEnroe, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, during the event in Hong Kong.
Tickets will go on sale Monday, 26 November 2012, at 10:00 a.m. at HK Ticketing Outlets located at AsiaWorld-Expo, all Tom Lee Stores, HKCEC, HKAPA and Fringe Club. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.hkticketing.com or by calling the HK Ticketing Ticket Purchase Hotline at 31 288 288 from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. daily.
The BNP Paribas Showdown will be produced by StarGames, Inc., in conjunction with the Hong Kong Tennis Association. It marks the first time the AsiaWorld-Arena has played host to such an international tennis event. BNP Paribas, a leader in banking and financial services and the world No. 1 tennis partner, will support this event as title sponsor. Additional event sponsors include Fiji Water, Getty Images, Wilson and PURE Fitness and Yoga.
“Once more, BNP Paribas is proud to bring the best of tennis to Asia by supporting this outstanding sporting event, as it does with the same acclaimed tennis event in New York. We are excited to share our passion and enthusiasm for tennis with the fans in Hong Kong” said Paul Yang, Chief Executive Officer for BNP Paribas Hong Kong. “The BNP Paribas Showdown gives the bank a perfect opportunity to accelerate the growing awareness of our brand in Asia and it reaffirms our commitment and loyalty to this region and to this sport”.
The matches will take place the same night as an event with the same name is held at Madison Square Garden in New York City as part of the first annual “World Tennis Day.” Serena Williams will play Victoria Azarenka in the first match in New York, followed by Rafael Nadal against Juan Martin del Potro.
“With five successful years of the BNP Paribas Showdown in New York, the time is right to expand this to a global event with the World Tennis Day platform,” said Jerry Solomon, executive producer and president of StarGames. “The popularity of tennis in Asia made it natural for us to pursue an event in this region. Hong Kong is proving to be a fantastic partner, and BNP Paribas, as the world’s biggest sponsor of tennis, is the perfect title sponsor.
“I am excited to see this group of four players who will put on a great show. Lendl, McEnroe and Wozniacki have each played for us at the BNP Paribas Showdown in New York in front of crowds of over 17,000 at Madison Square Garden. The AsiaWorld-Arena will be the place to be on March 4.”
Wozniacki is second among active players for weeks ranked No. 1 with 67, including year-end finishes as No. 1 in 2010 and 2011. She finished 2012 ranked No. 10, her fourth straight Top 10 season. The 22-year-old from Denmark is fourth among active players with 20 career titles, including 2012 wins in Seoul and Moscow.
“It’s great to have the chance to play in Hong Kong again,” said Wozniacki. “It’s also exciting to be part of the first World Tennis Day. I hope it’s successful in getting more kids playing around the world.”
Lendl won 94 titles in his career and was the No. 1 ranked ATP player for 270 weeks. He reached the final at 19 Grand Slam tournaments in his career, winning a total of eight titles. He had 13 Top 10 seasons. At the ATP tournament in Hong Kong, Lendl won the title in 1980. He then won consecutive Marlboro Championship titles from 1990-92.
“I have always enjoyed playing in Hong Kong. It is a place with a lot of good memories including one of my first ever wins on the pro tour. I will look forward to playing John in the BNP Paribas Showdown which has been a great event in New York and I am sure will be just as popular in Hong Kong.”
McEnroe, who played in the 2011 Hong Kong Tennis Classic, spent 170 weeks ranked No. 1 while winning 77 career singles titles. He reached the final at 11 Grand Slam tournaments, winning seven titles. In his career, he had 10 seasons with Top 10 finishes.
“I’m happy be a part of an event like World Tennis Day that gets juniors playing our sport,” McEnroe said. “The Tennis 10s programmes with 10-and-under rules that are now in place make it easier than ever for kids to participate.”
Lendl and McEnroe played 36 times over 12 years on the ATP circuit, with Lendl holding a 21-15 advantage in the series. Both Lendl and McEnroe have been enshrined at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, USA. They will play an eight-game pro-set at the BNP Paribas Showdown.
World Tennis Day is held in conjunction with the International Tennis Federation to promote Tennis10s, which tailors the game to its youngest players with smaller racquets, lighter balls and modified scoring. The cornerstones of World Tennis Day are grassroots opportunities for young players to participate in the sport at the local level. The day is highlighted by the BNP Paribas Showdown events in New York and Hong Kong.
“World Tennis Day and the BNP Paribas Showdown will bring more attention to Tennis Play and Stay and Tennis10s, two programmes with proven success in growing participation,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “World Tennis Day will give the ITF and our member nations an opportunity to showcase their efforts to grow tennis, while fans can also enjoy some of the game’s brightest stars playing in events like the BNP Paribas Showdown.”
The BNP Paribas Showdown in Hong Kong will be broadcasted internationally. Details of the telecasts will be announced at a later date.
More info can be found at wearetennis.com – a BNP Paribas website dedicated to tennis fans.
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