13 Dec 2012

Asian Championships makes strong return


NEWS ARTICLE

After a four-year break, the Toyota Asian Championships returned to crown Jeong Souk Young and Wongteanchai Varatchaya its men’s and women’s champions at the National Tennis Development Centre in Bangkok.

The tournament, held from December 3-8 with the purpose of creating opportunities for Asian players to compete at international level, featured 78 players from 13 Asian nations including Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Chinese Taipei and Uzbekistan.

Fifth-seeded Jeong of Korea, Republic navigated the 48-strong men’s draw without dropping a set, beating top seed and world No. 214 Chen Ti of Chinese Taipei 76(3) 63 in the final to claim the Kings’s trophy.

World No. 287 Wongteanchai, who has won three titles on the ITF Women’s Circuit, defeated Thai compatriot Luksika Kumkhum 64 64 to take the women’s Queen’s trophy, also without conceding a set.

Both winners were handed wildcards into 2013 tour-level events for their efforts, with Jeong set to compete in next September’s ATP Thailand Open, and Wongteanchai due to participate in February’s WTA Pattaya Open.

Kumkhum made amends for her defeat in the women’s singles final by partnering Thai compatriot Plipuech Peangtarn to a 63 64 victory over Uzbekistan’s Nigina Abduraimova and Sabina Sharipova. The top seeds also clinched the title in the men’s doubles, with Chinese Taipei’s Peng Hsien Yin and Lee Hsin Han defeating countrymen Ti Chen and Tsung-Hua Yang 76(4) 76(1).

The six-day event, televised on National Sports Channel QF, was revived by the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) largely due to the clear benefits the competition brings its participants. In addition to the total prize fund of US $120,000, the event provided a platform for players to test their talents on the international stage, develop their regional identity and increase their prospects of gaining sponsorship.

Encouraged by the event's return, Anil Khanna, President of the ATF, said that the organisation would be making efforts to increase prize money and benefits for the players at future Championships.



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