Tennis: Government funding helps Hong Kong secure a WTA tour event

HONG KONG (AFP) - Hong Kong will next year host its first tennis tournament on the international tour for more than a decade when it stages a WTA competition, organisers said today.

The week-long Hong Kong Tennis Open in September will be played in Victoria Park and there are hopes of attracting the international stars of women's tennis.

"Hong Kong has never held a WTA tour event before," said Tom Reed, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Tennis Association which is organising the tournament.

It will have a prize pot of US$250,000 (S$310,000).

"We are hoping to have a very strong field with good representations from Chinese, local players and some top international players," Reed said.

Organisers hope the tournament, which was secured with financial help from the Hong Kong government, would become a regular event.