Sharapova, Li to lead charge in Tokyo

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, July 13, 2011
Adjust font size:

Wimbledon finalist Maria Sharapova, French Open champion Li Na and world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki will headline this year's Pan Pacific Open, Tokyo organizers said yesterday.

Russian Sharapova, stunned by Czech Petra Kvitova in the women's Wimbledon final earlier this month, has twice won the US$2.05 million Tokyo event, which begins on September 25.

Sharapova and Danish rival Wozniacki, the defending champion, will fly to Japan early to take part in charity events in support of the victims of the deadly earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

Organizers said, children would be invited from disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture, where a power plant suffered a nuclear meltdown after being crushed by the tsunami wave.

"I was deeply saddened by the terrible disaster," Chinese trailblazer Li said in the statement, the first Asian to win a grand slam adding: "I continue to think about you during these difficult times."

Looking further ahead, Sharapova, currently ranked No. 5 in the world, will open next year's campaign with January's Brisbane International, which was upgraded by the WTA to premier status for 2012, to warm up for the Australian Open.

"I have never been to Brisbane before and coming into the Australian Open I felt like Brisbane would be a good place for me to start the year," the glamour girl of women's tennis was quoted as saying on the tournament website yesterday.

"It is the first tournament of the year and it's kind of here you see where your game is and how good your off-season has been and so you try and get in as many matches as you can before the Australian Open."

Meanwhile in Stuttgart, German wildcard Cedrik-Marcel Stebe celebrated his first victory on the ATP tour when he upset sixth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko of Russia 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the first round of the Mercedes Cup yesterday.

The 20-year-old German who comes from near Stuttgart lost his only other tour-level matches, in the first round at Halle and Wimbledon. Both were on grass.

Davydenko was twice a semifinalist in the claycourt tournament in Stuttgart.

Two Spaniards, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Pablo Andujar, also advanced, along with Lukasz Kubot of Poland.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from