Australian Open to Hold Wildcard Playoff in China

By Community | September 17, 2012

The Australian Open will hold a regional wildcard playoff in Nanjing, China in October for entry to the 2013 grand slam.

The male and female winners of the playoff, which will take place at China’s National Tennis Academy from October 15 to 21, will be awarded entry to the main draw of the Melbourne Park tournament.

The playoff, which will not be open to Australian players, was announced by the Premier of Victoria Ted Baillieu at a news conference in Beijing on Monday, also attended by China’s 2011 French Open champion Li Na.

Asia is  an important market both for attracting visitors to Melbourne to watch the tournament and television audiences to maximise the value of media rights.

“There has been a 400 percent increase in visitation to the Australian Open from the Asia-Pacific region over the past eight years,” Tennis Australia’s CEO, Steve Wood, said.

“More than half the Australian Open’s global media value is now generated from the Asia-Pacific region and new broadcast deals include access to an additional 65 million homes.

“And when Li Na made her historic run to the final in 2011 we achieved the highest ever broadcast exposure throughout Asia … with 135 million tuning in across the region.”{jcomments on}