Monday, April 06, 2020

Defending pulls out of Thailand Open tennis

Feb 03. 2020
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By THE NATION

Defending champion Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine has withdrawn from the GSB Thailand Open 2020 presented by EA while world No 14 Petra Martic of Croatia, a late entry, is already in Hua Hin to prepare for the competition.

Dayana Yestremska with her trophy in 2019

World No 21 Yastremska outlasted Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia in three tough sets for her second WTA crown in the inaugural edition last year. The WTA Thailand Open, which offers a total prize money of US$275,000, will be held at True Arena Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan province, from February 10-16.

Fans will, however, have the compensation of watching Martic who arrived in the Kingdom on Sunday. World No 5 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine will be the highest-ranked player in the field.

Martic said that she had never been to Thailand. This is her first time and she is excited to be here as Thailand has beautiful tourism destinations which she would love to experience. She loves Thai food and is waiting for a chance to sample them during this trip.

“For this trip, I have changed my schedule to be able to participate in the Thailand Open 2020. A number of players have told me that they loved this tournament due to the nice venue, nice weather and excellent tournament standards.

This makes me excited to participate in and I am ready. I hope a lot of tennis fans will show up for this year’s tournament,” said Martic, on her arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Martic has won one WTA tournament -- in Istanbul, Turkey -- last year and reached the finals of three more tournaments. She has also won another WTA tournament in Chicago, USA. Her best Grand Slam performance is reaching the quarterfinal of the French Open in 2019 and the fourth round of other Grand Slams. 

Former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard of Canada has also confirmed her participation. Bouchard was world No. 5 in 2014 but is currently ranked 212. She is a former junior Wimbledon singles and doubles champion. She has won one WTA title, in Nuremberg, Germany, and finished runner-up in five more tournaments.

She reached the Wimbledon women's singles finals in 2014 before losing to Petra Kvitova from the Czech Republic. She has also reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and French Open in 2014.

Meanwhile, representatives from the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) together with the tournament organiser of “GSB Thailand Open 2020 presented by EA”, organised a special charity activity “WTA Charity” by bringing WTA world No 51 Wang Yafan from China and No 178 Chole Paquet from France to the development community at Moo 17 Phra Pradaeng district, Samut Prakarn province, on Sunday. Local people were educated about breast cancer. A tennis clinic for kids whose parents and relatives suffer from breast cancer was also conducted in the community.

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