PROTON Malaysian Open secured it's first ever title sponsor after the country's first national car maker Proton Holdings Bhd came on board to support the inaugural tennis tournament from September 26 - October 4.
Not only that the marquee players will be chauffeured in Proton Perdana, a fan will get a chance to drive away a Proton Satria Neo in the "Catch the Signed Ball Challenges" during the tournament week.
Other attractive prizes waiting to be given away are Philips televisions, 5-star Mandarin Oriental hotel stays, Wilson tennis gear which add up to a staggering RM150,000 (USD$43,000)!
Now, here's a little bit update on Fernando Verdasco...
Despite his abdominal muscles injury and foot surgery plan (mentioned during the US Open interview), the tournament organiser has confirmed that Verdasco WILL participate in the US$947,750 PROTON Malaysian Open, which will also feature another top 10 player, Nikolay Davydenko, and five from the top 15 and seven of the top 20.
By the way, if you're a fan of chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani, he'll be here too.
For insider's information regarding the PROTON Malaysian Open, you can read Giri's blog on the tournament's official website.
Players will start arriving in Kuala Lumpur from Wednesday onwards (as mentioned by Giri in his blog). So don't be surprised if you see any of the players in this country by middle of next week!
Earlier this week, I attended the official launch of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Malaysian Tennis Classic scheduled to take place at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Resort from February 22-28, 2010.
From left to right - Kevin Livesey (a Member of the Board of Director, Sony Ericsson WTA), Datuk Abdul Razak Latiff (President of the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia), Dato' Ahmad Shabery Cheek (Minister of Youth and Sports), Valen Goh (Director of Berjaya Clubs), Keld Kristiansen ( Executive Chairman of Carbon Media Management)
Malaysian players (the Boeys and Jawariah Noordin) - Jawariah could get a direct entry into the Main Draw.
Not much info was given at the event simply because it was too early to mention who are the players who have confirmed their participation, sponsors, etc.
However the USD$220,000 (tentative) tournament will be guaranteed of the presence of at least two players from the top 20.
Besides a 32-player singles event, the tournament will also have a doubles event featuring 16 pairs.
This event will be a permanent fixture in the WTA calendar for two years.
By the way, thumbs up for the event venue. The resort already has quite a number of tennis courts and surrounded by beautiful greenery. A makeshift centre court will be built for the tournament.
Although it is not as easily accessible as the ATP tournament which is located at Stadium Putra Bukit Jalil, fans would still be able to reach there by public transport like bus and cab.
Thanks to the tournament organiser Carbon Media Management for giving me the opportunity to attend this event.