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Tennis: ‘Junior Road to Singapore’ could expand to 18 countries

India’s Karman Kaur Thandi (second right) won the U16 competition in last year’s WTA Future Stars in Singapore.

India’s Karman Kaur Thandi (second right) won the U16 competition in last year’s WTA Future Stars in Singapore.

February 3, 2015: Up to 18 countries across Asia-Pacific could be involved in the ‘Junior Road to Singapore’ for this year’s WTA Future Stars event, as U14 and U16 girls bid to represent their countries at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore, which starts in late October.

 

Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Cambodia, Brunei, Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, China, Japan, India, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong have been invited to participate, the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) announced.

 

Participating federations will host U14 and U16 qualifying events between the months of June to August to decide who will compete in Singapore. The Future Stars tournament will be held from October 19-26 at Kallang Tennis Centre, with the finals at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

 

Last year’s winners – Thailand’s Thasaporn Naklo (U14) and India’s Karman Kaur Thandi (U16) – were presented with trophies and medals by two-time Grand Slam champion Li Na in a special on-court ceremony. Li then met all 24 Future Stars in an informal gathering after the event, introducing the greatest Asian player of all time to the next generation of Asia-Pacific athletes.

 

Thasaporn Naklo of Thailand on her way to winning the U14 competition last year.

Thasaporn Naklo of Thailand on her way to winning the U14 competition last year.

Tournament Director Melissa Pine said: “The WTA Future Stars initiative had a phenomenal kick-off in 2014, with a fantastic turnout of young and talented girls throughout the region. This expansion across 18 countries in Asia-Pacific shows our commitment to give back to the community through tennis and present the stars of tomorrow on a global stage. We are excited to be able to showcase the passion and talent of these young athletes through WTA Future Stars.”

 

WTA Global Partner SAP and official Asia-Pacific performance apparel and shoe partner Peak will return as sponsors for the Future Stars tournament, which is being run in partnership with Sport Singapore (SportSG) and Singapore Tennis Association (STA).

 

Toh Boon Yi, Chief of the Strategic Development and Marketing Group at Sport Singapore, said: “We will continue to build on last year’s success in this year’s WTA Future Stars tournament as it will contribute to the growth of tennis in the region. Bringing together the best U-14 and U-16 junior girls players in Asia Pacific will also provide opportunities for professional development while they engage in friendly competition.”

 

While in Singapore, the Future Stars will take part in off-court activities including a Welcome Dinner, the WTA Finals Draw, Opening Ceremonies, the Fan Zone and a community service activity.

 

The Future Stars, Rising Stars and Legends Classic events all complement the main eight-player singles and eight-team doubles events at the WTA Finals.

 

Source: WTA (www.wtatennis.com); Editing by SportAsia

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