Top-level women’s tennis continues to shine in Chinese Taipei as the Taiwan Open is played in Taipei City.
Held during the week of Chinese New Year in early February, Kaohsiung’s Taiwan Open replaced the Pattaya City event in Thailand in 2016 and continues to boost the profile of women’s tennis in Asia. The tournament relocated to Taipei City, the capital of Chinese Taipei, in 2017.
The Taiwan Open follows the Australian Open – the Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific – and bolsters the existence of an Asia-Pacific WTA Tour swing, beginning in Shenzhen, Brisbane and Auckland in the first week of the season and culminating in Taiwan in early February.
Formerly known as the Thailand Open and held in Pattaya City, where Conchita Martinez, Agnieszka Radwanska, Vera Zvonareva and Daniela Hantuchova were among its champions, the event relocated to Taiwan in 2016 to become the first WTA Tour event held on the island. Taiwan successfully hosted a WTA 125k event between 2012 and 2015 and the Taiwan Open is the latest of nine tournaments to be held in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwain, joining Beijing, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Nanchang, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Zhuhai as locations to showcase the best of women’s tennis.
The inaugural Taiwan Open was held in Kaohsiung, the political and economic centre of southern Taiwan on the Taiwan Strait, on outdoor hard courts at the Yang-Ming Tennis Centre. Almost 100,000 fans attended the event, which saw the legendary Venus Williams capture the 49th title of her Hall-of-Fame career after defeating Japan's Misaki Doi in the final. Taiwan's homegrown stars the Chan sisters, Yung-Jan and Hao-Ching Chan, won the doubles event and donated their prize money to the Taichung earthquake appeal.
WTA Taipei relocated to the capital of Chinese Taipei, Taipei City, from Kaohsiung in 2017. The Taiwan Open is now played on outdoor hard courts at the Taipei Arena which features a 10,000-seat stadium court.
One of 34 International-level WTA Tour events held throughout the season and all around the world, the Taiwan Open features a 32-player singles draw and total prize money of $500,000. Following on from the Australian Open, WTA Taipei offers a prime opportunity for top players to continue to play on outdoor hard courts in the lead-up to events in Doha, Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami, rather than transitioning to indoor hard courts and outside again, and will feature the cream of the WTA Tour year on year as they battle for the Taiwan Open title.