China Open...

[Xinhua-PRNewswire Report]

Whitney Houston Sings for China Open
Thursday July 22, 9:13 am ET

BEIJING, July 22 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- July 25 will mark the second Official China Open Launch Event when American-Diva Whitney Houston takes the stage at the National Olympic Sports Centre in celebration of the launch of China's premier annual sporting event.

"The first Official China Open Launch Event was a great success with the attendance of top players Marat Safin and Paradorn Srichaphan in November of last year. At that time our Organizing Committee clearly communicated to the world that our objective is to develop the China Open into one of the top five tennis tournaments in the world and Asia's premier sports event and to position it as the leading event in our Nation's preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games. We are confident that Whitney Houston live in concert will also be a tremendous success and will once again reiterate our commitment to build the China Open into a great global event," said Mr. Lincoln Venancio, Tournament Director of China Open.

Whitney Houston Live in Celebration of China Open will be held on July 25 and is expected to be a blockbuster success with the Beijing population. The concert is expected to attract over 25,000 fans.

"Everyone knows Ms. Houston's music. To a great extent, her music transcends time, languages and cultural differences in a very similar fashion as tennis. We are very pleased that she will perform at the China Open's second launch event. It will be a great day for Beijing, China, music and tennis," said Mr. Zhang Yabin, Vice Chairman of China Open Organizing Committee.

Professional tennis players have always been known for their interest and love for music with many former top players becoming involved in the field professionally following their retirement from the tennis courts including John McEnroe, Pat Cash and Yannik Noah.

"Music is great! A lot of players on the Tour, including myself, enjoy music a lot. I think it is great that Whitney Houston will be performing in Beijing in celebration of China Open," said the new Princess of Wimbledon Maria Sharapova.

"This is a great way to launch the China Open. It clearly shows the significance of the Event and I am very much looking forward to playing in Beijing. I definitely want to win the first-ever China Open and put an exclamation mark to what Whitney is starting," said six-time Grand Slam title winner Serena Williams.

The China Open Organizing Committee also confirmed that a third Official China Open Launch Event would take place in the 2008 Olympic Capital in August with details to be released soon. The Event will be of a very interactive nature and is expected to attract a large number of participants.

The China Open will be held from September 10-26 at the state-of-the-art Beijng Tennis Centre. It features the world's best ATP players including former French Open champions Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moya, former US Open champion Marat Safin, top 10 stars David Nalbandian and Rainer Schuettler and Asian number one Paradorn Srichaphan. The women's field includes China's new tennis star Zheng Jie, newly crowned Queen of Wimbledon and Princess of tennis Maria Sharapova and six-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.

The China Open aims to become one of the world's top five tennis tournaments, Asia's premier sports event and the leading event in China's preparations for the 2008 Olympics.

The China Open is organized under the leadership of China's National Ministry of Sport and the Beijing Municipal Government in co-operation with the Beijing Youth Daily and the Tom Group. The organizing committee is headed by Yuan Weimin, Minister of General Administration of Sport of China and Wang Qishan, Mayor of the Beijing Municipal Government.

For detailed information, please log on China Open's official website



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