If you are a tennis fan living in Thailand you are in for a treat. Won’t you join me for the WTA Thailand Open, held at the True Arena, Hua Hin from the 10-16 February 2020?
This will be the third year that I’ve attended women’s pro tennis here in Thailand. My tennis wanderings have taken me to Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Malaysian Open, Australian Open not to mention plenty of ITF and WTA regional tournaments. We are so lucky to have this tournament in our own backyard.
‘The WTA Thailand Open offers fans and the players a winning combination.
We get the best of tennis and the best of Thailand in the Hua Hin beach location.’
Yay! New balls please, let’s do this!
So read on, I’ll show you what’s on offer and some of the exciting developments for the GSB Thailand Open 2020.
SEE THE WORLD’S BEST WOMEN’S PLAYERS
Hot on the heels of the Australian Open, you’ll be able to watch some of the world’s best women’s tennis players in action.
The GSB Thailand Open is big news for tennis in Thailand with total prize money of $275,000 USD, or approximately THB 8.8 million. In 2020 the list of currently announced players can be found here and you will notice familiar names from the world’s top 100 players in action:
‘World No.5 Elina Svitolina and defending champion Dayana Yastremska will lead next month’s GSB Thailand Open presented by EA field, and will be joined by Hsieh Su-Wei, Samantha Stosur and Tamarine Tanasugarn’
Elina Svitolina from Ukraine, is currently ranked No.5 in the world. She is credited with 13 WTA women’s singles titles, including the WTA Finals title in 2018. She is a Grand Slam semifinalist of Wimbledon and the US Open 2019. See her message to Hua Hin Fans here.
We’re of course hoping Elina brings her whole support group. With coach Marcus Baghdatis and boyfriend Gael Monfils, what a team!
GET TO KNOW THAI TENNIS TALENT
For me personally, I will enjoy getting to know some of our local Thai tennis players. The tournament will surely do wonders for tennis across the country and who knows whether the next Tammy or Paradorn Srichaphan is sitting in the stands?
Actually, it is highly likely to spot both around the site. Tammy is playing, and Paradorn is the 2020 Tournament Co-Director!
‘Thai tennis will be represented by former World No.19 Tamarine (Tammy) Tanasugarn, a stalwart of the sport, who will compete in the doubles competition. The 42-year-old will be joined by 25-year-old World No.816 Patcharin Cheapchandej, who has received a main draw wildcard, and 17-year-old former junior World No.14 Mananchaya Sawangkaew, who has received a wildcard for the qualifying draw’.
CHEERING ON THE AUSSIE’S
I’m also looking forward to cheering on our very own Aussies, led by Sam Stosur.
I’ve got my Aussie flags all ready Sammie! Aussie, Aussie, Aussie Oi, Oi, Oi!
There are no Brits or American players announced to date, sob, sob. So let’s hope some come through in the Qualifying Competition.
SEE THE QUALIFYING COMPETITION
24 players will enter the Qualifying Tournament on 8 & 9 February. They need to win three consecutive matches for a converted place in the main draw.
ENJOY TRUE ARENA HUA HIN
It’s a fabulous regional sports complex and checkout the sunken grandstand at the SCB Centre Court.
THE SCB CENTRE COURT
The new-look SBC Centre Court has turned pink this year!
It’s the only sunken court in South East Asia and it is modelled on Rod Laver Arena. The sheltered grandstand gives seating for a 2,500.
At Hua Hin, there is no such thing as a bad seat from a viewing perspective. However, I will be interested to see whether they’ve able to put any extra shade on the seats at the side of the court for 2020.
The February weather in Hua Hin is expected to be a very pleasant 30°C most of the week.
Check out Wren’s earlier posts on what to pack for the tennis here.
FOR A GOOD CAUSE
This WTA International event will donate all ticketing revenues to the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer Foundation to help patients with terminal cancer. I call that a win-win.
FOOD, DRINKS, SHOPPING AND HAPPY TOILETS
In 2019 there was a small food and drink court, some sportswear stalls, as well as some opportunities for photographs and some tennis activities. I will be excited to see the development in this area. I hope they are bringing the Happy Toilets back!
Hua Hin has been a popular weekend escape from Bangkok since the 1920’s when the Thai Royal family built Summer Palaces here. Hua Hin Beach loved for kitesurfing and other water sports is the main stretch of sand.
For all the information you need on what to see and do: See the TAT Tourism Thailand’s Hua Hin
The official hotel partners are the Intercontinental Hotel and Resorts and the Holiday Inn Vana Nava Hua Hin but you’ll have plenty of choice from a variety of hotels.
IT’S A TOURNAMENT IN THE PROVING PHASE
Last year I said the Thailand Open was a tournament in its building phase. This year I see it as a tournament in the proving phase. It very much looks like the WTA have backed this tournament the whole way. They are increasing their talent pool of interest from amongst the players, the facilities are great, the prize money is good. Certainly, we know that Thailand is keen to establish itself as a Regional Sporting Hub.
The next thing that is needed is to see how big the fan base is in Thailand…
C’mon, let’s all go to Hua Hin and enjoy the world-class tennis.
This is too good an event not to miss!
True Arena Hua Hin
52/52 Petchkasem Road Hua Hin, Amphoe Hua Hin, Chang Wat Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110
+66 (0)32 909 633
Tickets can be purchased via the Thailand Open website: http://wtathailandopen.com
14 FEB FRIDAY QUARTERFINALS Gates Open 13.00 Match 14.00
15 FEB SATURDAY SEMIFINALS Gates Open 14.00 Match 15.00
16 FEB SUNDAY DOUBLES FINAL / SINGLE FINAL Gates Open 13.30 Match 14.30.
For details on Hua Hin WTA Thailand Open 2019 click here.