Two Thai tennis talents get wild cards as Thailand Open returns to Hua Hin

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https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/sport/40024163

Two Thai tennis talents get wild cards as Thailand Open returns to Hua Hin

Two Thai tennis talents get wild cards as Thailand Open returns to Hua Hin

THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2023

Australian three-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Ajla Tomljanovic is among high-ranked players competing in the WTA “Thailand Open 2023 by E@”.

The event will be held at True Arena Hua Hin Sport Club in Prachuap Khiri Khan province from January 31 to February 5.

It is the most lucrative WTA event in Southeast Asia, offering a total prize money of US$250,000 (9.37 million baht).

Two Thai tennis talents get wild cards as Thailand Open returns to Hua Hin

The event returns to the beach resort of Hua Hin for the first time since the pandemic outbreak. The first edition was held in 2019, won by Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine, while Magda Linettee of Poland won in 2020.

Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand honorary president Suwat Liptapanlop revealed that the top 50-100 players in the world have shown interest in competing in this year’s edition of the country’s largest tennis event.

“This year we have an impressive line-up, which includes world No. 35 Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia, who reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2021 and 2022, and at the US Open in 2022. In the 2019 Thailand Open, she was involved in a nail-biting final showdown with eventual champion Yastremska, who will also return this year. They will be joined by world No. 46 Magda Linettee of Poland, who will defend her crown [won in 2020] and world No. 71 Tatjana Maria of Germany, a Wimbledon semi-finalist in 2022,” said Suwat.

The press conference was attended by Sports Authority of Thailand deputy governor and director of Professional Sports Development and the Boxing Department Tanukiat Junchum, director of Energy Absolute Pcl Wutthilerd Chiannilkulchai, and Proud Group executive director Proudputh Liptapanlop, as a representative of True Arena Hua Hin Sport Club.

Asia will be represented by world No. 49 Wang Xiyu of China, the former world junior No. 1 and junior US Open winner in 2018 and her compatriot Zhu Lin, ranked No. 85 in the world.

The tournament will grant wild cards to two local hopes — Luksika Kumkhum, who is currently No. 321, and Chompoothip Jundakate, the former world No. 540.

Suwat revealed that this year’s tournament would maintain its allure by offering a variety of off-court activities that would allow players to not only explore the beauty of Hua Hin but also learn about Thai culture.

“There is a diverse range of activities which include Thai boxing and Thai cooking. Players will learn how to create traditional man-made Khomapastr printing fabrics and acquire basic skills for painting shoes. Moreover, they will witness a rare vintage car collection, artworks by famous global and local artists and take part in football activity with a Korean team,” said Suwat. 

He added that tennis enthusiasts in Thailand can enjoy Full HUD coverage of the event on TrueVisions. 

Tanukiat said: “Thailand’s economy has benefited from the organisation of sporting events. Sports tourism helps to boost our nation’s reputation while also enhancing our athletes’ performance on the international stage.” 

Wutthilerd said: “We consider it an honour to participate in this competition because we recognise the value of sports promotion and the need to advance Thai sports on the international scene. We want to provide Thai tennis fans the chance to see top-notch tennis and encourage young people to pursue professional sports careers.”

Proudputh said that True Arena Hua Hin Sport Club was “delighted that the WTA has chosen us as the host venue. Our facility features an Australian Open-standard court surface with a centre court that can accommodate up to 2,000 spectators. We are confident that, as a result of our previous experience hosting international events, we will be able to maintain the same international standard and leave an impression on the minds of fans and players throughout the tournament.”

For further information and tickets, contact True Arena Hua Hin telephone number 032-909-633 or visit www.truearenahuahin.com.

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