Despite absences of Sharapova and Williams,Wuhan Open draws good attendance

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Despite absences of Sharapova and Williams,Wuhan Open draws good attendance

The Wuhan Open co-tournament director Fabrice Choquet is satisfied with how this year's Wuhan Open event went. Around 100,000 people attended the tournament that featured a great field despite the absences of Naomi Osaka, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.

"It was a big challenge to create and organize a premier five event from nothing. When I came here for the first time in Wuhan, I would say, at the tennis center, it was just a field. I was told this would be a tennis center.

And it became that", said Choquet. "We achieved a lot and worked a lot in the construction of the venue as we had no infrastructure. I built a team with the local people and tried to transmit my experience and knowhow to them.

I also brought other people from many different countries, who were specialists in their own areas, to help us. We are very proud that we have achieved so much in such a short period of time, starting a tournament from nothing to one of the 10 biggest events on the WTA Tour."

The Wuhan Open co-director Zhu Jianbin, said: "Wuhan has a relative good atmosphere for tennis as the city maintains a high-level competitiveness of the sport. We have famous tennis players like Li Na as well as many others.

Our tennis population has been growing in the past few years. We are happy to see that there are around 100 thousand people to watch Wuhan Open every year, at the same time there are many people taking up the sport. For the future, we hope that the Wuhan Open will have a greater impact on both players and audiences.

Our plan for the event is to further expand our fanbase of the sport as we are trying to build a tennis community to gather all those tennis fans."