Sony Ericsson, the global sponsor of the WTA Tour, has pulled off a major coup to coincide with the start of the 2007 Dubai Tennis Championships by holding the first-ever desert Tennis match. Sony Ericsson WTA Tour superstars Justine Henin and Svetlana Kuznetsova kitted up for the match-up in the desert on the specially commissioned Sony Ericsson court.
In a rematch of the 2006 French Open Final, Henin & Kuznetsova showed off their tennis skills ahead of their opening matches at the 2007 Dubai Tennis Championships. The remote desert court might have seemed an unlikely vantage point for spectators to see their favourite Tour stars but an interested few happened to enjoy the unique event.
“I have played on clay courts before but playing in the desert is completely unique and today has been a lot of fun. Now I’m looking forward to competing hard in the Dubai Tennis Championships,” said Justine Henin.
The 2007 Dubai Tennis Championships kicks off today and will run through to 25 February at the Dubai Tennis Stadium. This year will be Sony Ericsson's 3rd year as global sponsor of the WTA Tour and the Dubai Tennis Championship. Sony Ericsson's continuing sponsorship of the Tour is another endorsement of the global telecommunications company’s investment in world sport.
“This is an unbelievably unique way to mark our 3rd year as global sponsors of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and the Dubai Tennis Championship. We are delighted to have achieved such a positive affiliation. Thanks to Justine and Svetlana we have made an already memorable Dubai Tennis Championship a little more special with this event. In addition, Sony Ericsson is providing role models and inspiration for the youth of this country and the region," said Husni El-Assi, General Manager of Sony Ericsson, Middle East and North Africa.
“The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour travels the length and breadth of the world but it is always a pleasure to come to Dubai. This event helps us kick-off the Dubai Tennis Championships in exclusive style, which in itself has been a great success since its inauguration. It goes without saying that the Tour is delighted that Dubai is a major part of the global circuit,” said Larry Scott, CEO, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.
The Dubai Tennis Championship has become a mainstay in recent years and with a purse in excess of US$1,500,000 the tournament is now a major element in the global sporting calendar, attracting such big name players as Justine Henin, Martina Hingis, Serena & Venus Williams in recent years.
Sony Ericsson’s involvement in women's tennis on a global scale has given the telecommunications giant a firm foothold in the sport. The Tour has seen a shift in the number of modern, self-assured, young women excelling in the sport, which has subsequently attracted a market that reflects Sony Ericsson's brand values - youth, innovation and modernism.
"It gives us great pleasure to give Dubai residents and visitors a world-class tournament featuring exciting Tennis action, but it is important to remember that we are helping to develop the sport at a professional as well as grassroots level. Essentially we are helping to bolster the efforts of the Dubai Tennis Association. With the tournament and the unique desert tennis match we are continuing to successfully promote the sport across the UAE and the region," added El-Assi.
Sony Ericsson will help spectators soak up all the aces and volleys at the Dubai Tennis Stadium until the Dubai Tennis Championship Trophy is lifted on February 25.
Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB serves the global communications market with innovative and feature-rich mobile phones, accessories, PC-cards and M2M solutions. Established as a joint venture by Ericsson and Sony in 2001, with head quarters in London, the company employs 5,000 people worldwide, including R&D sites in Europe, Japan, China and America. For more information, please visit www.SonyEricsson.com
The WTA Tour is the world's premier professional sport for women with more than 1,100 players representing 76 nations competing for more than $58 million in prize money at the Tour's 59 events in 31 countries. More than four million people attended women's tennis events in 2004 with millions more watching events on television networks around the world. Further information on the Tour can be found on the Internet at www.wtatour.com
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