BNP Paribas Showdown Hong Kong Announced


HONG KONG – Tennis will come to Hong Kong for the second annual BNP Paribas Showdown which will be held as part of World Tennis Day on 3 March at the new Hong Kong Velodrome.

Li Na, Asia’s first Grand Slam champion, will take on former US Open champion Sam Stosur of Australia in one match at the BNP Paribas Showdown. The other match will feature former No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt taking on current Top 10 player Tomas Berdych.

Tickets for the 2014 BNP Paribas Showdown in Hong Kong will go on sale Tuesday, 14 January at 10:00 a.m. at HK Ticketing Outlets located at all Tom Lee Stores, HKCEC, HKAPA and Fringe Club. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.hkticketing.com or by calling the HK Ticketing Ticket Purchase Hotline at 31 288 288 from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. daily.

BNP Paribas, a leader in banking and financial services and the world No. 1 tennis partner, will support this event again this year as title sponsor.

“Once more, BNP Paribas is proud to bring the best of tennis to Asia by supporting this outstanding sporting event in 2014, as it does with the same acclaimed tennis event in New York. We are excited to share our passion and enthusiasm for tennis with the fans in Hong Kong” said Paul Yang, Chief Executive Officer for BNP Paribas Hong Kong. “The BNP Paribas Showdown gives the bank a perfect opportunity to accelerate the growing awareness of our brand in Asia and it reaffirms our commitment and loyalty to this region and to this sport”.

The BNP Paribas Showdown is part of the second annual World Tennis Day, a global celebration of tennis that includes BNP Paribas Showdown events in Hong Kong and New York City as well as the World Tennis Day Showdown in London. In addition, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and its member nations will host participation events such as clinics and open houses at clubs around the world. In 2013, 58 nations held World Tennis Day participation events.

“The popularity of tennis in Asia is the reason we brought the BNP Paribas Showdown to Hong Kong when starting World Tennis Day in 2013,” said Jerry Solomon, president of StarGames, the Showdown’s producer. “We had a successful event last year, and with today’s stars, Li, Sam, Tomas and Lleyton, we look forward to another great night of tennis.”

Li is the No. 3 ranked player on the WTA Tour. The 31-year-old from China owns eight career titles, highlighted by her historic victory at the 2011 French Open. In 2013, she reached the Australian Open final for the second time in her career and closed the season by finishing as runner-up at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships in Istanbul. She started 2014 at a career high ranking of No. 3 and won the title at the opening week WTA event in Shenzhen.

“It is incredible how much tennis has grown in Asia,” said Li. “I always look forward to playing in Asia and getting the support from the crowd. I hope playing on World Tennis Day means more people will go out and try playing tennis.”

Stosur won the 2011 US Open, beating Serena Williams in the final. She owns five career titles, including two that she claimed in 2013. In singles, Stosur has been ranked as high as No. 4 in the world, and she spent 61 weeks ranked No. 1 in doubles. Stosur owns two Grand Slam doubles titles as well as two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.

On the WTA Tour, Stosur has defeated Li in all six of their career meetings.

Berdych is the No. 7 ranked player on the ATP World Tour, and 2013 marked his fourth straight Top 10 season. He has won eight career titles and reached the finals 11 other times, including at Wimbledon in 2010. He has helped the Czech Republic to win back-to-back Davis Cup titles.
Hewitt spent 80 weeks ranked No. 1 on the ATP World Tour after becoming the youngest to reach the top spot as a 20-year-old in 2001. He has won 29 career titles, including one in Brisbane to open the 2014 season where he defeated Roger Federer in the final. He has won two Grand Slam titles – 2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon. He has been a Grand Slam finalist on two other occasions and has twice been a member of a winning Australian Davis Cup team.
“Tomas is playing well right now so playing him will be a good test for me,” said Hewitt. “I have enjoyed playing in Asia and look forward to being in Hong Kong on World Tennis Day.”
Berdych has won both career ATP meetings against Hewitt.
The BNP Paribas Showdown in Hong Kong is one of three Showdown events held on World Tennis Day. At Madison Square Garden in New York, the BNP Paribas Showdown will feature Andy Murray against Novak Djokovic and the Bryan Brothers, Bob and Mike playing against the McEnroes, John and Patrick. In the World Tennis Day Showdown at Earls Court in London, Pat Cash will play Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi will take on Pete Sampras.