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World 8 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, Australian ace Nick Kyrgios, and Spanish star Roberto Bautista Agut are to compete in the inaugural ATP World Tour 250 Zhuhai Championships at the Hengqin International Tennis Center from Sept 23 to 29.
Tsitsipas claimed his first ATP title at the Stockholm Open in October 2018 and then ousted defending Australian Open champion Roger Federer of Switzerland to reach his first grand slam semifinal in 2019. Aged 20, Tsitsipas is the youngest player ranked in the top 10 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
Agut, having defeated World 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia this year in the Qatar Open and Miami Open, is another strong contender for the $160,000 winner's check. In total, there will be 28 single's and 16 double's pairs to vie for a prize pool of $1 million -- highest of the ATP Tour 250 series. The draw will be released in August.
Launch ceremony [Photo by Zhu Xi / Zhuhai Daily]
The ATP is the most prestigious organization for male professional players. It has organized the ATP Tour, which is now top-tier worldwide, since 1990. The Zhuhai Championships will start a three-week Asian Swing of the 250 series along with the Chengdu Open.
Event organizer Huafa Group will cover two outdoor tennis venues, one of which will also have nearly 800 extra seats. By then, there will be five roofed tennis venues to lower the impact of rainy weather, and improve the experience of spectators.
On the sidelines of the event, university tennis matches, caddie selections, and other campus and community activities will be held to encourage wider public participation based on the interest generated by WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai.
In 2018, the number of spectators at the Hengqin International Tennis Center exceeded a record 48,000 during the WTA event period alone, bringing an indirect economic return of 660 million yuan ($98 million) for Zhuhai.
The Women's Tennis Association bids farewell to Zhuhai this fall after having established the city as an attractive young venue for the sport strong enough to attract the men, who are coming in September.