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WTA’s Taiwan Open seeks to profit from switch to capital

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has confirmed that its Taiwan Open event will be staged in the East Asian country’s capital of Taipei from next year, with organisers hoping the move will lead to increased investment from the local government and sponsors.

The inaugural Taiwan Open took place from February 8-14 this year at the 5,000-capacity Yang-Ming Tennis Center in Kaohsiung. From 2017, the event will be staged at the 10,000-seat Taipei Arena. Next year’s edition will begin on January 30.

“We are committed to bringing the best events to our global city and the decision to move the event to Taipei demonstrates the city’s ability to attract the best international events,” Ko Wen-Je, Mayor of Taipei, said.

Stephen Duckitt, director of tournaments at APG, which manages a number of tennis events across Asia, added: “This is an exciting time for APG as we continue to support and expand the footprint of women’s tennis across Asia. Tennis has grown considerably in this region over the past few years and we are looking forward to (staging) another world-class tennis event in Taiwan, and are proud to be hosted by the Taipei City Government next year.”

The Taiwan Open offers $500,000 (€441,000) in prize money and is played during the hard-court season. Venus Williams (pictured) won the 2016 edition, defeating Japan’s Misaki Doi in the final. In total, the event was attended by almost 10,000 spectators.