International players gather in Pingshan, Shenzhen

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Beatrice Gumulya (R) from Indonesia plays tennis with a calligraphy teacher at Dawan Ancestral Residence yesterday while You Xiaodi (2nd L) from China looks on. sznews.com

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Beatrice Gumulya (L) from Indonesia and You Xiaodi from China present their calligraphy works yesterday. sznews.com

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Tennis players at a banquet held at Pingshan Guest House on Monday. Cheng Yong

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Romanian Alexandra Cadantu (L) learns to cook roast duck through hands-on guidance. Liu Xudong

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Jordan Thompson from Australia plays during the Pingshan Open. Liu Xudong

Along with 22 of the Top 200 tennis players, a total of 101 players are competing at the 2018 Pingshan Open, which will be held from March 12 to 18 at the Pingshan Tennis Center.

The Pingshan Open is the only combined male and female international competition in Shenzhen. The winning award is US$135,000, among which, the ATP Challenge awards US$75,000 and the ITF Women Tour awards US$60,000.

This year the Pingshan Open is offering free entry to citizens. There will be free buses from the downtown area to Pingshan for tennis fans to come see the final this Sunday.

As for the players, there are both veterans of the sport and new stars. Marcel Granollers, a 32-year-old Spaniard who reached his career-high singles ranking of World No. 19 in July 2012 and his highest doubles ranking of World No. 4 in February 2013, and Tatsuma Ito, a Japanese player who achieved his career-high singles ranking of World No. 60 in October 2012, will surely give local fans exciting games.

Zheng Saisai, whose highest WTA singles ranking is No. 60, which she reached in August 2016, and Lu Jingjin, who has won one WTA doubles title, three singles titles and 11 ITF tour doubles titles in her career, will lead China’s women’s tennis players.

Players here are quite satisfied, as the Pingshan Open is well-organized. “Staffers are eager to help us and we have a good rest,” said Italian tennis player Deborah Chiesa. Ukrainian tennis coach Talyna Kostyuk thought the weather was really comfortable for playing tennis. “It is not sunny and humid,” Kostyuk said.

In order to enrich the tennis players’ stay in Shenzhen and to help them better understand Shenzhen, the Pingshan Open Organizing Committee has also held various player activities, including a banquet held Monday.

Romanian Alexandra Cadantu, who experienced the process of roasting duck, is interested in cooking and is glad to have had the chance to learn about this traditional Chinese dish through hands-on guidance.

The players also visited Dawan Ancestral Residence in Pingshan, which was built in the Qing Dynasty and is the most important window into Hakka culture in Shenzhen.

After visiting this traditional place, tennis players also got a chance to try to learn how to write Chinese calligraphy under the direction of a teacher. They also taught a beginner how to play tennis. “It is really exciting that I have the chance to promote tennis to local people,” said Indonesian Beatrice Gumulya. “Dawan Ancestral Residence is really beautiful, which makes me want to visit more places in Shenzhen.”

(Shenzhen Daily)

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