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Tennis: Li Na appointed ambassador for WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai

Li Na will be the Tournament Ambassador for WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai in November. Photo: AFP.

Li Na, who retired last September, will be an ambassador for November’s WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai. Photo: AFP.

April 18, 2015: Li Na has been appointed as the Tournament Ambassador of the inaugural WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, which will be held in China from November 2-8. The announcement was made as the tournament began its 200-day countdown.


The US$2.15 million event, which will be held the week after the WTA Finals Singapore, features 12-woman singles and six-team doubles competitions, and will be held in southern China for the next five years.


Li won her second Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open last year before reaching a career-high ranking of No. 2, then retired in September due to a recurring left-knee injury. Now 33, Li has since held several ambassadorial roles, including at the WTA Finals and Australian Open, and was excited about supporting China’s latest high-profile WTA event.


“I am very much looking forward to my role as ambassador for the new WTA Elite Trophy, which is tailor-made for the beautiful city of Zhuhai,” Li said.


“The event will feature some of the most talented players in the world. The new venue on Hengqin Island will be a fantastic place for the players to play and I am sure they will enjoy the beautiful and romantic city of Zhuhai.”


Micky Lawler, President of the WTA, added: “We are thrilled to have the great Li Na serve as a Tournament Ambassador at the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai. She has inspired so many young girls around the world and we will feel the impact of her contributions for many decades to come.


“The WTA is excited that she has committed to play a big role in tennis and contribute to the growth of our sport in China, throughout Asia-Pacific and around the world. I know Li Na is looking forward to welcoming fans to the beautiful city of Zhuhai and showing off the sterling new facilities to the players.”


The WTA Elite Trophy will be held at a new venue featuring a 5,000-seat covered centre court, a 1,500-seat court, four show courts and a total of 12 hard courts.


The event will feature 11 singles players who didn’t qualify for the eight singles spots at the WTA Finals, plus one wildcard, competing in four round-robin groups. The winners of each group will advance to the semi-finals, with the eventual champion receiving 700 WTA ranking points.


The six-team doubles field will compete in a two round-robin groups, with the winner of each group advancing to the final.


Lydia Long, Vice Mayor of Zhuhai, said: “We are looking forward to hosting this event in the spectacular city of Zhuhai. It promises to be an amazing player field with top 20 players competing head-to-head in every match.”


Zhuhai is located on the southern coast of China, close to Hong Kong and Macau, and last year was named ‘China’s most liveable city’ by the Chinese Academy of Social Services.


Source: WTA (; Editing by SportAsia

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