13 Jan 2014

Li Na headlines BNP Paribas Showdown in Hong Kong

News Article

Photo: Paul ZimmerLi Na (CHN) - 2013 US Open

Li Na, Asia's first Grand Slam champion, will take on former US Open champion Sam Stosur in the second annual BNP Paribas Showdown to be held in Hong Kong on 3 March. The other match will feature current Top 10 player and Davis Cup star Tomas Berdych against two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt.

The special event, being held at the new Hong Kong Velodrome, forms part of a series of World Tennis Day Showdowns, with matches also taking place in London and New York on 3 March.

 "It is incredible how much tennis has grown in Asia," said Li. The Chinese, who won Roland Garros in 2011, continued, "I always look forward to playing in Asia and getting the support from the crowd. I hope playing on World Tennis Day means more people will go out and try playing tennis."

Stosur, the 2011 US Open winner, has beaten Li in all six of their professional career meetings. Berdych and Hewitt have played each other twice on the ATP tour, with the younger Czech winning both times.

"Tomas is playing well right now so playing him will be a good test for me," said Hewitt. "I have enjoyed playing in Asia and look forward to being in Hong Kong on World Tennis Day."

"The popularity of tennis in Asia is the reason we brought the BNP Paribas Showdown to Hong Kong when starting World Tennis Day in 2013," said Jerry Solomon, President and CEO of StarGames, Inc, the event promoter. "We had a successful event last year, and with today's stars, Li, Sam, Tomas and Lleyton, we look forward to another great night of tennis."

The inaugural World Tennis Day was held in 2013, and was created as a  cooperative venture between the ITF and StarGames to promote participation in the sport through high-profile Showdown events on the  same day as grassroots participation events are held at clubs and courts around  the globe. In 2013, World Tennis Day saw 55 nations participate by hosting events.

Tickets for the 2014 BNP Paribas Showdown in Hong Kong go on sale Tuesday 14 January. For more information, visit www.worldtennisday.com.