George Mastronikolis: WTA Thailand Open Headed for Hua Hin in 2019
Professional women’s tennis is heading back to Thailand for the first time since 2015 as Hua Hin is set to host the WTA Thailand Open 2019, a new International-level event on January 28 – February 3, 2019.
“Thailand has not hosted any major professional tennis tournaments for a long time so it is with great pleasure that we announce this new tournament,” said Former Deputy Prime Minister and tournament Advisory Chairman Suwat Liptapanlop.
“It is a wonderful opportunity for young Thai tennis players to compete against top players from around the globe and develop their skills at this tournament. “In the past, the seaside town has welcomed several top tennis stars such as Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki and Kim Clijsters to participate in exhibition matches. During their visits, they have joined many activities to experience the local culture such as Thai cooking classes, making food offerings to Buddhist monks, and participating in a fashion show featuring Thai silk.
True Arena Hua Hin – which has not hosted a WTA 125K event since 2015 – will play host to the event from 2019 to 2023. Set the week after the Australian Open, the WTA Thailand Open will have a total prize money of $250,000, with 280 ranking points on offer for the winner. “We are excited to see a WTA International event back in Thailand,” said WTA CEO and Chairman Steve Simon. “The True Arena Hua Hin has incredible facilities and has already hosted a WTA 125k Series event. I am confident that with the expertise of APG, the Thailand Open will be a very successful event.”
Tourism and Sports Minister Mr. WeerasakKowsurat, Executive Director of the tournament venue True Arena Hua Hin Proudputh Liptapanlop, APG President Charles Hsiung, former ATP World No.9 and Co-Tournament Director Paradorn Srichaphan, former WTA Top 20 player TamarineTanasugarn, and Wendy Jiang, WTA Commercial Vice President for Asia-Pacific were also in attendance at the announcement ceremony held at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok.
Tournament director Liptapanlop added: “ It is a great honor for us that the WTA has chosen True Arena Hua Hin to host the event in which dozens of rising tennis stars will participate. Ms. Tamarine Tanasugarn, former WTA Top 20 tennis player with Mr.Paradorn Srichaphan, former Thai national tennis player and Co-Tournament Director of Thailand Open. “This tournament will be a stepping stone for young players from Thailand and other countries to experience what it’s like to compete on an international level. It will also be another step in the development of tennis in Thailand.”