Tennis Esplanade 14-16 Nov 2008
The Star Online
Thursday September 11, 2008
THE Penang Esplanade will be turned into a world-class outdoor tennis court when it plays host to the ‘Kings of Tennis’ tournament this November.
The three-day event, which kicks off on Nov 14, will feature eight former world number one tennis players.
They are Ilie Nastase, Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edberg and Mats Wilander, who will be playing for the European team, while Roy Emerson, John McEnroe, Marcelo Rios and Pete Sampras will represent United States.
State Tourism Development, Culture, Arts and Heritage Committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang said the temporary tennis court would have a 13,000-seating capacity.
He said the organiser was more impressed with the Esplanade than the Penang International Sports Arena and the City Stadium.
Law added that it was an honour for Penang to be picked as the venue for such a prestigious event.
“With eight former world number one players coming here for the tournament, it will definitely attract a lot of attention for Penang and its tourism,’’ he said at a press conference recently.
Law said the event details such as the prices and sale centres of the tickets would be announced later.
Tournament producer Lasse Olsson said the event would be broadcast live to at least 45 countries.
He also said if everything worked out well, the organisers would continue to hold the event here for the next three years.
His co-producer Urban Johansson said the tournament was aimed at creating the first, biggest and best team event for world-class tennis greats.
“For the first time, there will be a fight between the two continents in tennis,’’ he said.
On the first two days of the event, there will be two singles matches and one doubles match respectively while on the final day, there will be four singles matches.