Tennis in New Zealand January 14th, 2011
Maria Sharapova playing tennis, nothing unusual there.
Maria Sharapova playing tennis in Auckland, New Zealand, is unusual.
Maria was contesting the Kia Singles championship at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.
When the Tournament Director announced that one of the biggest names in Tennis – and the world’s highest paid sportswoman – had entered the Kia Singles Championship, ticket sales soared and Kia Motors New Zealand received another brand recognition jump.
This is the third year that Kia Motors New Zealand has been the Championship sponsor backing a growing and ambitious event, assisting the Tournament gain global recognition and reputation. Not dissimilar to the growth and recognition Kia is generating in New Zealand.
The ASB Classic/Kia Singles Championship is New Zealand’s premier female sporting event and one of the richest individual sport events in New Zealand.
Over the course of the week’s play a number of rising stars came to the fore, including the eventual Kia Singles Champion, Greta Arn. Greta knocked out Maria Sharapova in the quarter finals, fought a titanic match against Julia Georges in the semi-final and won the Kia Singles by beating defending champion Yanina Wickmayer in straight sets on a glorious sunny and hot Auckland Saturday.
Over NZ$ 22m have been invested by the organisers and backers to create a revamped tennis complex that has the same playing surface as Melbourne, home of the Kia Australian Open. Matching the playing surface has raised the interest for star names, like Maria, to come and play in Auckland prior to moving to Australia for the Kia Open.
The 2011 ASB Classic/Kia Singles and Doubles Championship week has been rated the most successful ever held with a capacity crowd filling the 3,500 seat arena every session.
Kia Motors New Zealand is proud to be involved in this prestigious event and will be working hard to raise the profile and interest in the 2012 tournament.