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Apr 29, 2009

Michael Chang, John McEnroe to lead star-studded line-up in Chengdu

From November 5 to 8, 2009, eight tennis legends will assemble at the Sichuan International Tennis Center for the Chengdu Open, Asia's only event on the 12-leg ATP Champions Tour circuit.
“Chengdu is part of an elite group of cities to host an ATP Champions Tour event and I am thrilled to say that the first five players we are announcing today are John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Michael Chang, Mats Wilander and Marcelo Rios,” Tournament Director Nick Freyer said.
The other three players will be announced soon.

The eight players will be divided into two groups for round-robin play, the top two players from the groups will meet in the final while the runners-up from each group will play-off for third and fourth place.
According to McEnroe, "I am extremely excited to be making my first trip to China in a very long time; this is a country that is fast becoming a major player in world tennis."

"I know that Chengdu and Sichuan Province is already famous as the home to the giant panda."

"It is a great honor for the city to host an ATP Champions Tour event. I understand the field of players is very strong and I am of course happy that my good friend Bjorn Borg will be returning to China. We always have such great matches; which are part of tennis history."
Bjorn Borg meanwhile is returning to China more than 30 years after he first played here.
"I am delighted to be returning to China, this time to the vibrant city of Chengdu, home of the famous giant panda and I really look forward to playing in the Chengdu Open," Borg said.

"It will be all the more special as my good friend John McEnroe will be joining us together with so many other Grand Slam champions."

"I look forward to playing well but also to enjoying the city and the company of the other Champions. Thank you for your vision in making this tournament possible and see you in November."
Of all the players, I believe Michael Chang will get the most attention here when they play in November.
"With the boom in tennis in China, I am happy that Chengdu has taken the bold step to host this tournament which will allow me to return to China to play official ATP tennis once more," the Taiwanese said.

"China has always held a special place in my heart."

"Since I retired from the ATP Tour, China has won medals in tennis at the Olympic Games, won titles at Wimbledon and the Australian Open and now hosts major ATP and WTA events in Beijing and Shanghai, so by hosting one of the 12 ATP Champions Tour tournaments, China now plays host to the full suite of professional tennis events."

"Although the field of players will be exceptionally strong, I will be ready to play my best and really look forward to a successful, enjoyable and high profile tournament in Chengdu."
In addition to the tennis action, the Chengdu Open will also stage clinics with many of the tournament stars to develop grassroots tennis.

The tournament is being co-organized by Chengdu Sports Bureau, Chengdu Sports Industry Co. Ltd and CCTV IMG Sports Management Company.

The tickets are not available for sale yet. But I'll keep you guys informed.

Thanks to Nick of IMG for the press release.

(Via chengduchampions.com)


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