SHENZHEN, January 2, 2019 (Press Release)
WTA stars Elise Mertens and Kristyna Pliskova enjoyed a unique excursion this evening to the Silk Art Creative Park of China (SAC Park) in Shenzhen to try their hands at traditional Chinese embroidery and making Chinese knot buttons.
The art of weaving silk fabric was conceived in Ancient China many millennia ago, with some legends attributing its invention to the wife of the mythical Yellow Emperor Leizu around the year 2696 BC and other sources claiming it began between 5000 and 3000 BC.
To this day, China remains the world’s largest exporter of silk products and a key component of the SAC Park’s mission is to uphold ancient traditions and design cultures while innovating and researching modern methodologies.
Mertens and Pliskova were guided by local teachers as they first hand embroidered some fabric using time-honored techniques before attempting to tie the famous Chinese knot buttons that are a feature of many traditional costumes and garments.
The duo were also presented with silk shawls as a gift from Ms Hu Zhihua, Deputy General Manager of Shenzhen Silk Park & Cultural Industry Co., Ltd.
“Well I made some knots – or at least tried to – because it’s pretty hard! It was very special to see how the silk is made from these little animals so it was something to remember. I played my last tournament of 2019 here (in the WTA Finals) and now I’m starting here in 2020, so I have good memories here and I hope I can play my best this week and next week. I’ve had six weeks of pre-season – it was pretty hard and tiring so hopefully I can have some benefits from it here at the Shenzhen Open and also throughout the whole year,” said Mertens.
“I did a couple of knots, which I think was really hard, but I’m happy to have experienced it. I have some experience with embroidery because my mother and grandmother have done it before, but my hands are not that good I feel, but I’m happy I tried and it looked amazing. I’m happy to be back here in Shenzhen, I like this tournament and I always play well. I think I’m playing well now and I’m feeling good on court, so I am aiming for the Top 50 for sure and then let’s see what I can do more,” said Pliskova, who is currently at No.67 but has a career high of No.35 achieved in July 2017.
There will be free admission to all courts for the first two days, January 4 and 5, and the other two match courts (Court 1 and 2) throughout the week. Tickets are available through www.damai.cn or national hotline 10103721.