Event for future stars
South-east Asia's brightest young tennis talent could make a splash in Singapore later this year.
The New Paper understands that the Singapore Tennis Association (STA) and Singapore Sports Council (SSC) are looking at organising a junior mixed team competition - comprising the region's budding stars at the Under-14, U-16 and U-18 levels - later this year.
Like the Hopman Cup, the competition will involve one male and one female player, and each match between two nations will comprise a men's singles match, a women's singles match and a mixed doubles tie.
The proposed competition is likely to happen around the same time as the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Championships from Oct 20 to 26 at the Singapore Sports Hub, although both the SSC and STA are still working on the details.
Speaking to TNP yesterday, a source said: "The (mixed team competition) can certainly leverage on the excitement that the WTA Championships will bring here, especially with the presence of the sport's top stars."
Last month, it was announced that a new Future Stars tournament will be held alongside the WTA Championships, and it would feature some of Asia's top Under-14 and U-16 girls.
The US$6.5 million ($8.2m) WTA Championships, regarded as the "fifth Grand Slam", will kick off the first of its five years in Singapore in October at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and will also feature a Rising Stars Exhibition and a Legends Exhibition.
Speaking at a promotional event here last month, WTA chief executive officer Stacey Allaster said the Future Stars competition is likely to involve "12 to 16 markets".
TNP understands that the SSC and the WTA are ironing out final details and invites will be sent out later this month.
According to the source, some countries may be allowed to field more than one player for the Future Stars competition, with the selection process likely to be decided by the individual nations.
"We wouldn't want to be too prescriptive in the first year, but we may consider having a format in the subsequent years," said the source.