The 2017 Hong Kong Open is yet another installment in what is a tennis feast in East Asia. A steady stream of events, one after the other and some coexisting in the same week, have come to China, Japan, and surrounding areas. This is one more prelude to the 2017 WTA Finals in Singapore later this month. We’re going to be missing some names at this event as Serena Williams is still out, Victoria Azarenka won’t be here and Carolina Garcia and Jelena Ostapenko will be at other events this week. but there is still a slew of big brand names. Sloane Stephens is in the field. As is Venus Williams, who is always a big draw. Caroline Wozniacki will try to make a run and Elina Svitolina, who is competing for the No. 1 ranking these days, will be in the mix too.
The competition in the 32-player main draw begins on Monday, October 9.
Event: Hong Kong Open
Category: WTA International tier
Date: October 9 – 15, 2017
Location: Victoria Park Tennis Courts – Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Open has a standard $226,750 purse for an international level event. Players are craving the money to a certain extent, but trying to get one more large infusion of rankings points is probably the bigger goal here. That’s what would make a deep run particularly satisfying. It could make a difference in seeding and placement in the 2018 Australian Open, which – in terms of the number of tournaments on the tour – is not that far away. The season will be over before the end of October, before returning in January.
Champion – 280
Runner-up – 180
Semifinal – 110
Quarterfinal – 60
Round of 16 – 30
Former Champions and Results (3 Years)
Year Champion Runner-up Score
2016 – Caroline Wozniacki def. Kristina Mladenovic – 6-1, 6-7, 6-2
2015 – Jelena Jankovic def. Angelique Kerber – 3-6, 7-6, 6-1
2014 – Sabine Lisicki def. Karolina Pliskova – 7-5, 6-3
Elina Svitolina, at the time this article was written, was still alive in Beijing and still alive in the battle for the World No. 1 ranking with current holder Garbine Muguruza and fellow challenger Simona Halep. Svitolina has been great at the non-major events on tour this year. The Big Four events will be her challenge in 2018, but for now, she just wants to sustain the rhythm she has established.
Venus Williams has enjoyed an extraordinary season for a 37-year-old tennis player, making two major finals and reaching the U.S. Open semifinals. Venus has surpassed all expectations, doing the improbable kinds of things which have earned her so much respect both in the locker room and from fans around the world.
Caroline Wozniacki lost to Petra Kvitova in Beijing, but her win in Tokyo snapped a 2017 streak in which she lost finals. Her streak reached six before she was able to find a lucky seven in Japan. She has played a lot of really good tennis this year and will try to retain her magic touch. She’s had a relatively good year, even if she’s failed to win a major. She’s 55-20 on the campaign while going 12-6 on clay, 7-2 on grass and 36-12 on the hard courts.
Sloane Stephens lost in Wuhan and Beijing, clearly tired and affected by the U.S. Open championship which changed her life. Maybe a quieter and more low-key event will give Stephens a chance to regroup and successfully recharge. She hasn’t played too many matches this year due to a major injury early in the season. However, she is 15-5 on the hard courts so far this season and 0-1 on grass. We’ll see if she can make a run and get another important win to add to her impressive second half to the season.
This is a facility which dates back to 1957, part of a larger public park in Hong Kong. However, renovations were made in the early part of this century which installed tennis courts, including a stadium court with seating of just over 3,600. Before these courts were created, Victoria Park had been a scene of protest and controversy in Hong Kong’s history. This is a site which is very much in the heart of Hong Kong, not something in the periphery and pushed to the edges of public memory.
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