Young talent on show
A record 40 qualifiers hailing from 18 countries in the Asia-Pacific will compete at the WTA Future Stars tournament that starts today at the Kallang Tennis Centre.
The final of the tournament, which is held in conjunction with the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, will be played at the Indoor Stadium.
This year's crop of junior players of 40 is up from 24 who participated in the first edition in 2014, and the group of 36 from last year.
The number of participating countries has also increased from 12 in 2014 to 18 this year, with players from Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka and, Pacific-Oceania participating for the first time.
The WTA Future Stars tournament was established in 2014 to promote tennis among the next generation throughout the Asia-Pacific, offering emerging talent the opportunity to compete with their peers in the region.
"The WTA Future Stars from the past two years have been sharing stories on how they were inspired to pursue their passion for tennis after their amazing experience in Singapore. Beyond that, we also hope that the girls can come together, forge strong friendships, and continue to encourage each other," said WTA Future Stars tournament director, Donna Kelso.
Singapore will be represented by six budding tennis talents, including returning WTA Future Stars Tammy Tan and Charmaine Seah (both Under-16), and debutantes Lynelle Lim (U16), Trisha Mulani, Clare Cheng and Joelle Goh (all U14).
Tammy said: "I feel excited and happy that I managed to qualify once again for the WTA Future Stars tournament. I look forward to catching up with friends from the region that I met last year and also hopefully make it to the Finals to play on the centre court at the Singapore Indoor Stadium."
This year, winners of the WTA Future Stars tournament will receive their trophies from WTA Legends, Indonesian Yayuk Basuki and Thai Tamarine Tanasugarn, who will arrive in town early for a meet-and-greet session with the young girls on Saturday.
The Li Na Inspiration Award will also be presented to two WTA Future Stars who embody the spirit of the game both on and off the court, as well as qualities that made Li Na well-loved with fans, players and sponsors throughout her career.
The U-14 and U-16 round robin and semi-final matches will be played at the Kallang Tennis Centre from today to Friday, with the finals held on Sunday at the Indoor Stadium, as part of the inaugural Family Day At The Tennis line-up before the first WTA Finals singles match.
Admission to the WTA Future Stars finals matches is free.