CHENGDU, September 21, 2018 (Press Release)
After highly successful editions in the last two years, the ATP 250 Series Chengdu Open has truly cemented itself as a highly anticipated first stop on the Asian Swing of the men’s tennis tour. This year’s event will take place once again at the Sichuan International Tennis Centre from 22 – 30 September 2018.
The tournament has drawn much praise in the past for its impeccable organisation and excellent player services, including boasting one of the best player hotels on tour in the St Regis Chengdu. Many players have also left with fond memories of the city’s culture and its globally adored giant pandas, with trips to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding being organised each year.
As the tournament continues to grow in stature, it is pleased to welcome into the fold a brand new tournament director in the shape of Brazilian Luiz Carvalho. The 36-year-old Sao Paolo native has enjoyed huge success as the tournament director of the ATP 500 Series Rio Open since 2014 and will be making his Asian debut here in Chengdu this year.
“From what I have seen, Chengdu is an incredible city for the players as a first stop on the Asian swing. It is really a convenient starting point, offering good weather, plenty of practice courts, a great hotel, a stadium with comprehensive facilities and excellent player services such as free stringing, free laundry and free meals. It really is a home away from home for the players and from my experience, it is one of the events that treats players the best,” said Carvalho, who arrived early in Chengdu to get acclimatized to the city and tournament.
He may be one of the youngest tournament directors on the ATP World Tour, but Carvalho is incredibly well-travelled from his days as an ATP Communications Manager and has built strong relationships with players over the years.
“It’s a great new experience for me in my career to work a huge tennis event all the way across the world and to immerse in a completely different culture. I am, however, just a piece of the puzzle. The team working well together as a whole is the most important, and I want to be the piece that helps bring everyone together,” added Carvalho.
The Brazilian admits that his youth will continue to play a role in his ability to build stronger relationships with the players on tour and as he continues to understand the tournament here in Chengdu better, he looks forward to attracting and incentivizing the best players to participate in future editions of the tournament.
In keeping with tradition, the Singles Main Draw ceremony will be held publicly at the stadium from 3pm tomorrow. Chinese teenage sensation and local crowd favourite Wu Yibing will be present at the main draw ceremony and is scheduled for an autograph signing session following the draw.
The 18-year-old, who rose to stardom after winning the US Open Juniors boy’s title in 2017, will be making his second appearance as a wild card here in Chengdu this year. He put in a strong performance in his first round encounter against Brazilian Thiago Monteiro last year, taking the first set in a packed Centre Court before bowing out to his more experienced opponent.
The first round of qualifying matches are also set to commence tomorrow on Centre Court and Court 1 from 1pm.
The top seed in the qualifying round is 25-year-old Austrian Jason Kubler, who is at a career high of No.92 after reaching the semifinals or better in four Challenger tournaments since June, including winning at Winnipeg, and making the US Open second round with a strong win over world No.22 Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.
Two local rising stars, Xia Zihao and Te Rigele, will feature in the first two matches on Centre Court on Saturday after receiving qualifying wild cards.
The 21-year-old Xia made his first semifinal on the ATP Challenger Tour at the Jinan International Open in August to break into the top 500 for the first time and will kick things off on Centre Court against Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India, who is seeded seventh in the qualifying draw.
The 20-year-old Te has had a fantastic season on the ITF Futures Tour, picking up three crowns since April and most recently defeating compatriot Wu Yibing in July to take the China F10 trophy at Shenzhen. He will face off against qualifying second seed, Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium.
Two former top 20 players will take to court in tomorrow’s final two qualifying first round matches slated for Centre Court. Australian former world No.17 Bernard Tomic is seeded third and will take on Japan’s Renta Tokuda, while the night’s featured match sees former world No.10 Ernests Gulbis of Latvia facing off against Belarusian Egor Gerasimov.
There will be free admission to this weekend’s qualifying round matches and court 1 and 2 matches. Tickets for the Chengdu Open main draw center court matches through to the finals will range in price from RMB 30 to RMB 400. The ticket sales are available through www.damai.cn or scan the QR code.