SHANGHAI, Nov. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Shanghai is
hopeful to stage the best ever Tennis Masters Cup, said a senior officer at the
welcome reception for the media covering the year-end championship here Monday.
Masters Cup just around the corner, Lawrence Scott, chief operational officer of
Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) expressed his full confidence in the
success of this version of the event.
"We have visited the facilities, from the media facilities to the
stadiums and the courts," said Scott. "And I can tell you that this year's
Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai 2002 has the making of being the best tennis cup
tournament, kicking off on Tuesday, will be held in the fifth hall of the
Shanghai New Expo Center which had been planned to house 15 convention halls.
Eighteen months ago, the competing site was only a bare ground.
"When we first decided to award the Tennis Masters Cup to Shanghai,
Hall Five did not exist," said Scott. "But the Shanghai Administration of Sports
and the municipal government told us that they would make us very proud."
"And I am really impressed with their work."
The fifth hall, completed early this year, will provide about 10,000
seats for the tennis fans.
The Tennis Masters Cup, held in Lisbon and Sydney in 2000 and 2001
respectively, was awarded for the first time to an Asian city. At the same time,
it is also the biggest professional sport event China has ever hosted.
"ATP had some doubts in Shanghai's ability to stage such a world
class event 18 months ago," said vice director of the organizing committee Jiang
Sixian. "But considering we has the experience in hosting international tennis
events and commitment, they finally chose us."
"We are confident of giving them a surprisingly sweet answer to their
choice," added Jiang.
For the past three years, Shanghai has been home to the very
successful Heineken Open whose organization work provides much experience for
the organizers of the Masters Cup.
To host the tennis year-ender, Shanghai invested 13 million US
dollars, including the 3.7 million dollars prize for the players as well as
About 3.5 million dollars will be raised through ticket sales while
sponsoring and broadcast rights sales make up the rest part of the cost.
As a tennis event of the highest level, the Masters Cup is sure to
become the focus of all tennis fans. Thus it attracts nearly 300 journalists
worldwide including 147 from abroad and will be broadcast to over 130 countries
and regions. Enditem