Zhu aims to rise to the occasion again in region

Chinese tennis starlet Zhu Lin will aim to go one better than compatriot Zheng Saisai, who lost in last year's Rising Stars final.
Chinese tennis starlet Zhu Lin will aim to go one better than compatriot Zheng Saisai, who lost in last year's Rising Stars final.PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Much of her success so far in her fledgling career has come from South-east Asia, but when China's Zhu Lin returns to the region later this month, she will be competing in an event of much greater significance.

The 21-year-old was named yesterday as one of four tennis players selected for the Oct 22-25 WTA Rising Stars Invitational, after a worldwide fan vote.

Zhu, the world No. 165, will represent the Asia-Pacific group with Japan's 17-year-old Naomi Osaka (No. 184).

France's Caroline Garcia, 21, who already counts Petra Kvitova and Ana Ivanovic among her famous scalps this year, and Tunisian Ons Jabeur, 21, will compete for the Rest of World group.

"The Rising Stars Invitational will run alongside the WTA Finals, which adds a lot of significance to the competition. I'll do my best to prepare well for it," Zhu told The Straits Times.

  • FAST FACTS

  • 18

    Fans voted for 18 players over a five-week period

  • 2m

    Over 2 million votes from 137 countries were registered

  • 700k

    This is an increase from the near 700,000 votes received last year

"It will be a very good learning experience, being with some of the best from around the world and seeing how they prepare for competition. I think I'll be able to glean a lot from it."

This is the second edition of the Rising Stars Invitational, an event which introduces tennis fans to the young starlets on the women's Tour. Puerto Rico's Monica Puig won the inaugural edition last year, when she beat Zheng Saisai of China.

Said Melissa Pine, tournament director of the WTA Finals and vice-president of WTA Asia-Pacific: "We are thrilled to gather the past, present and future together at the WTA Finals as the WTA Rising Stars will play alongside the WTA Future Stars, the WTA Legends, as well as the top players in the world to make up an exciting 10 days of outstanding tennis action."

WTA Rising Stars Invitational matches held at the OCBC Arena will be free to the public. Tickets to the Oct 23-Nov 1 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global start at $16.90 and can be purchased through SportsHubTix.

For more information, visit www.wtafinals.com

May Chen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2015, with the headline 'Zhu aims to rise to the occasion again in region'. Print Edition | Subscribe