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SBD Global/January 15, 2013/Events and Attractions
Australian Open Looks To Promote Tennis To Chinese Fans Through Digital Media
Published January 15, 2013
MAKING HISTORY: REUTERS reported that China is "set to take another small step on the long march to becoming a tennis power" when 21-year-old Wu Di meets Croatia's Ivan Dodig in the first round of the Australian Open. The 186th-ranked Wu, from the Yangtze River port of Wuhan, earned a wild card to become the first Chinese man in the main draw of a Grand Slam since Mei Fuchi played at Wimbledon in '59. While Chinese women players "have made major strides in recent years," the men have "trailed far behind." The "pint-sized" Wu said that he "hoped to do his bit for the lagging half of China's population as he battled the butterflies before his Grand Slam debut" (REUTERS, 1/14).
NEW LOOK: In Melbourne, Cooper in a separate piece reported stage one of a redevelopment plan has been "completed at Melbourne Park in time for the Australian Open, and one of the featured developments are elevated viewing spots overlooking the practice courts." Viewed from a "new public area built around Hisense Arena," the courts are part of the National Tennis Centre, the "new home for Australia’s brightest tennis prospects." But during the Open they "will be used as practice courts where fans will get a closer look at the top players." The National Tennis Centre, which has "eight indoor courts and 13 outdoor courts, is the standout" of the A$366M ($386M) redevelopment works that began in early '11. The project is "meant to ensure Melbourne will host the Australian Open" until '36 and is "set to give visitors a new look over the next few years" (THE AGE, 1/13).