Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The ATP Malaysian Open is back

from L-R :

Pierre Barthes, General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur, Nick Freyer, Tournament Director and Senior Vice President of IMG, and Head of Tennis for Asia, Dato’ Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen, Minister of Tourism, Malaysia, Abdul Jalil Abdullah, Director of Sports Management, National Sports Council and
Datuk Abdul Razak Latiff, President of Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM).

ATP World Tour Tennis Stars Salute Return of

Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2010

Three Top-Ten and Six Top-Twenty Confirmed

26 July 2010, Kuala Lumpur : Kuala Lumpur will once again showcase a star studded line-up of ATP World Tour stars in 2010 with three top-ten, six top-twenty, plus three crowd favorites confirmed to headline the second edition of the ATP 250 tournament, which takes from September 25 to October 3, at Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Yang Amat Berhormat Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, in the company of the Event Patron, Yang Amat Berbahagia Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, who is the wife of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, announced today that Robin Soderling (No.5), Nikolay Davydenko (No.6), Tomas Berdych (No.8), David Ferrer (No.12), Mikhail Youzhny (No.14), Nicolas Almagro (No.18), the charismatic Marcos Baghdatis (No.25), former Wimbledon Champion Lleyton Hewitt (No.30) and Asia’s top ranked player, Lu Yen-Hsun (No.41) of Taiwan, will headline the USD 947,750 prize money tournament.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia was joined at today’s launch by Y.B. Dato' Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, the Minister of Tourism, Malaysia, who underlined her Ministries support for what is Malaysia’s largest and fastest growing annual indoor international sporting event, and a representative of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Malaysia, Tournament Director Nick Freyer of IMG and the President of the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia, Datuk Abdul Razak Latiff.

Leading the star line-up is Soderling, who ended Rafael Nadal’s Paris campaign last year and Roger Federer’s this year. He has been the French Open runner-up for the last two years and in addition this year, has won the title at Rotterdam, was runner-up at Barcelona and Bastad, was a semi-finalist in Miami and a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon. His amazing run in the past twelve months has seen the Swede’s ranking rise to a career high of No.5. Joining Soderling is defending Champion Davydenko.

The Russian captured five ATP World Tour titles in 2009 and capped off the year by taking the inaugural KL title, the Masters 1000 tournament in Shanghai and his biggest career title so far, the season ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London. He finished 2009 in the top-six of the ATP rankings for the fifth consecutive year.

Also returning to Kuala Lumpur is Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, ranked No.8, who is having his break out season this year, being runner-up at the ATP 1000 tournament in Miami, a semi-finalist at the French Open as well as being the Wimbledon runner-up. A player with immense talent and a big game that is now charged with confidence, Tomas will be looking to add the KL title to his growing collection.

David Ferrer, ranked No. 12, is fast closing in on a return to the top ten, making him a potential fourth top-ten player in the Kuala Lumpur field. A former Tennis Masters Cup runner-up at Shanghai, he has had an outstanding season in 2010, reaching three finals and three semi-finals in the lead up to the French Open. He narrowly missed out on a quarter-final appearance at Wimbledon, losing to Soderling in a five set thriller. Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny has also surged in the rankings this year, winning his sixth ATP World Tour title in Munich and reaching the finals at Rotterdam and Dubai, with quarter-final appearances at the ATP World Tour 1000 tournament at Miami and the French Open.

World No.18, Nicolas Almagro, will be making his first visit to Malaysia in 2010. So far this year, he has captured his sixth ATP World Tour title at the SkiStar Swedish Open, defeating defending Champion Soderling in the Final just a week ago. He has reached the semi-finals of the ATP World 1000 tournament in Madrid as well as had quarter-final appearances at Acapulco, Miami, Munich and the French Open. The Spaniard will be joined by Asia’s No.1 player, “Rendy” Lu, who has jumped 41 places to No.41 in the ATP World Tour rankings, after becoming the first Asian male since Shuzo Matsuoka in 1995, to make it into the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam, with his historic win over 2009 runner-up Andy Roddick at Wimbledon this year.

Completing today’s player confirmations are Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis. Baghdatis has returned to the top-thirty after requiring a wild card from the tournament last year, and claimed his fourth ATP title at Sydney at the start of the 2010 season. He followed this up with one of his most memorable career wins, when he finally defeated top seed Roger Federer, 57 75 76(4) at Indian Wells this year. Hewitt, a former World No.1 and Wimbledon Champion, has returned to form after two hip surgeries, claiming another grass court title which also snapped his 15-match losing streak against Federer, defeating him 36 76(4) 6-4 to win the 2010 Wimbledon warm up tournament at Halle. It was his 28th ATP title.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Yang Amat Berhormat Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak said, “It seems that after only one edition, we have made quite a name for ourselves in tennis circles around the world and the welcome return of so many of the star players from last year, all of whom have seen strong rises in the rankings since they visited our shores, is testament to what has been done so far, as we work to build this tournament into one of the finest 250 events on the ATP World Tour.”

Tournament Director Nick Freyer, Senior Vice President IMG and Head of Tennis, Asia, said “it is a tremendous honor for everyone here, that we be rewarded with such a strong field. To have so many stars wanting to return to Kuala Lumpur, makes the tournament team ever determined to set high standards and to think of new and interesting enhancements which will continue to make KL a favored stop with the players. Our aim is to make this tournament the best it can be and I salute and thank deeply, the Prime Minister, the Event Patron, the Tourism and Sports Ministries, our Host Broadcaster Astro and LTAM, and the many other organizations and individuals for their support in this journey.”

“Malaysia Truly Asia Review” Hawkeye electronic line calling technology will once again be a feature of the tournament, with the “Malaysia Truly Asia” logo seen in all local and international television broadcasts. The tournament will be one of the most heavily marketed, and televised, ATP 250 tournaments on the calendar.

In videos prepared for today’s launch, defending champion Davydenko said, “I really enjoyed the tournament in Kuala Lumpur last year and it was the stepping stone for some of my very best tennis that I played over the next months. The organisation and atmosphere were wonderful and it was an easy decision for me to return this year, to defend my title in KL.” Robin Soderling said, “I am happy to be coming back to Malaysia this year. Me and my team really enjoyed the class there, everything was so good. It was a great city, the hotel and everything was really nice. I am really hoping to improve on my semi-final showing last year and hopefully winning the title this year.”

The Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2010 is one of only five ATP World Tour events to be staged in continental Asia and features a 28 player singles main draw and 16 teams in doubles. The singles qualifying draw will be open to 32 players. Two qualifying singles wild-card slots will be allocated to local players and there will once again be an opportunity for a local player to join forces with one of the top seeded singles stars, to play in the doubles main-draw, courtesy of a main draw doubles wild-card. The tournament is sanctioned by the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia.

Tennis fans will get the opportunity to meet many of the players and chase down autographs at the twice daily “Player Autograph Sessions”. Also continuing, is the highly popular "Catch the Signed Ball" promotion which offers hundreds of high value prizes to catchers of autographed balls, hit into the crowd by the winning players after every Centre Court match. The Grand Prize on one evening will once again be a new car. There will be on-site entertainment, food and music on a daily basis, a star player clinic for Malaysia’s promising juniors and promotional opportunities for fans to win participation in the on-court coin toss and dinner in the player’s lounge. “Signature Photo Shoots” featuring the star players against iconic KL backgrounds for tourism promotion, will again be an important tournament feature.

Applications have opened for the "Malaysia's Best Job" program, a continuation of the successful tournament initiative founded last year. The program allows one lucky Malaysian to work for the tournament across all departments, gaining valuable industry related experience for a six-week period leading up to and including the event. The winner receives a USD 2,500 personal development grant. Further details are available at www.MalaysianOpenTennis.com/2010/best_job.php

For more details on the Malaysian Open Kuala Lumpur, including the tournament schedule, ticket prices, team bios and videos, visit the 2010 tournament website, www.MalaysianOpenTennis.com. Tickets are on sale through TicketPro at www.TicketPro.com.my.

The singles player entry deadline for the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2010 is on August 16, after which the full singles entry field will be announced. Three main draw singles wildcards are held by the tournament to be allocated at the discretion of the Tournament Director in the run up to the tournament. A number of interesting candidates have already made requests for consideration.


About the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2010

The tournament is an ATP World Tour 250 Series event in its second year. The singles main draw will have a field of 28 players while the doubles draw will have 16 teams. The tournament carries total prize money of USD 947,750 and will be played at the 7,000 seat configured Putra Stadium at Bukit Jalil Sports Complex, September 25 to October 3. The tournament is organised by IMG and is supported by the Government of Malaysia and commercial sponsors.

For more information please visit: www.MalaysianOpenTennis.com

About Malaysia

Malaysia is one of Southeast Asia’s top travel destinations, possessing an endless range of attractions and activities that cater for the cosmopolitan shopper, cultural enthusiast, historical buff and nature-lover. Divided into Peninsular Malaysia in the West and East Malaysia, part of the Borneo archipelago, the country will allure you with the shopping experience of its modern cities, the splendour of its cultural arts and natural heritage of rich flora and fauna!

For more information please visit: www.tourism.gov.my

About IMG Tennis

IMG (www.imgworld.com) is the leading management company in tennis. IMG represents some of the world's top male and female tennis players. The company's roster of top tennis clients includes many of today's superstars: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams, Jelena Jankovic and James Blake.

In addition, IMG owns, manages or represents many of the world's leading international tournaments including the Sony Ericsson Open, Australian Open, and the Chennai Open. In the UK, alongside the BNP Paribas Tennis Classic Open, these include the AEGON Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall, the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 and Wimbledon.

About IMG Sports & Entertainment

Operating in 30 countries, IMG Sports & Entertainment’s diverse businesses include: consulting services; event ownership and management; fashion events and models representation; licensing; golf course design; and client representation in golf, tennis, broadcasting, speakers, European football, rugby, cricket, motor sports, coaching, Olympic and action sports. IMG Academies are the world's largest, multi-sport training and educational facilities, delivering world-class training experiences to more than 12,000 junior, collegiate, adult, and professional athletes each year.

For more information please visit: http://www.imgworld.com/

About the ATP World Tour

The ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) is the governing body of the men's professional tennis circuits - the ATP World Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. With 62 tournaments in 32 countries, the ATP World Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia and Europe to Africa; from North and South America to Asia, the stars of the ATP World Tour battle for prestigious titles at Grand Slams (non ATP members), ATP World Tour Masters 1000, ATP World Tour 500 and ATP World Tour 250 events. At the end of the season the world’s top 8 ranked singles players and top 8 doubles teams, based on their performance throughout the year, will qualify to compete in the season’s climax - the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Held at The O2 in London, the event determines the final South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings.

For more information, please visit www.ATPWorldTour.com


Observer said...

Wah! Nampak macam PR piece at its best!

Observer2 said...

Read S.S Dhaliwal's blog: Malaysian Sports @ http://ssdhaliwal.blogspot.com/ to get a fair reading of the hosting of this championship.

Pemerhati said...

Gua salute you! At least you were fair to post both the above comments by Observer and Observer2, unlike one sports blogger who only post good things written about him. Keep it up Rizal. We know you have to survive, but at least you are fair!