Wuhan Open organizers keep aiming high at next year's tournament
This season's Wuhan Open was the sixth edition of the tennis competition, which is now firmly entrenched at the Premier Five level, and as one of the WTA Tour's top 10 events, attracted nearly a dozen Grand Slam winners to Hubei Province.
As a result, the organizers believe that the tournament helps to increase global awareness of this city. "With so many foreign tennis players coming to compete, fans around the world are getting to know Wuhan, and seeing its development," said Li Qiuping, the co-director of Wuhan Open.
"Six years ago, I did not know where Wuhan was, so I am a good example. And now when I mention this city, I know people are aware of what it is," said Brenda Perry, another co-director.
The efforts by the organizers to attract more fans included a sports and culture festival featuring mini-tennis matches for children and a photography show for attendees of all ages. The Wuhan Open has also been working to strengthen the loyalty of its audience by increasing engagement opportunities while providing more chances for fans to interact with players.
"In order to serve our audience better, we have built up a member club for them. The members can get in close contact with the players they like during the tournament, such as by visiting the locker room. And the key point leaders in the fans group can also go to WTA Finals in Shenzhen, to watch their idols perform at the end of the season."
And based on this year's efforts, the organizers are not thinking about limits, as they look towards the future.
"The transportation has improved, the optical valley and its venue has more audience. All these things help to build up a better tournament. Why put limits on that? It's challenging but why put limits on that?" said Perry. And that attitude means the Wuhan Open will keep aiming high.