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China Open Rating Tour to give sport shot in arm
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09:09, March 18, 2009

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In a bid to further develop tennis at a grassroots level, the China Open Rating Tour (CRT), will be launched next month.

The tournament, equivalent to an amateur league, will take place in six regions with seven cities acting as hosts: Beijing, Shenyang, Shanghai, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Kunming.

The CRT will be divided into three levels of proficiency to sharpen its competitive edge, similar to a boxing competition with different weight classes. It will feature singles, doubles and mixed doubles play. Winners of each competition level will battle for the national trophy during the newly promoted China Open tournament that runs from Oct 1-11.

This gives amateurs the chance to meet their idols and compete on center court at the Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Center.

Amateurs and retired professionals of all ages and nationalities can apply for the competition through the official website: www.crttennis.com.

The organizing committee is aiming to make the CRT an annual event as well as spark more interest in the sport among Chinese youth.

This year's China Open is divided into the WTA and ATP 500 Series. The former, a $4.5 million women's tournament, will be one of four crown-jewel events this year including two in the United States and another in Madrid.

Beijing outbid Dubai, Tokyo and Bangkok to become one of just four cities to host the event, which makes it mandatory for the world's top 50 female players to attend.

The top 10 players will be subject to severe penalties if they withdraw without good reason. The world's best male players must participate in four of the year's 10 ATP 500 Series including at least one after the US Open in August.

Source:China Daily

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