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ITF president suggests more junior-level tournaments

Posted on Aug 22 2014 | IANS

Nanjing, Aug 22 : International Tennis Federation (ITF) president Francesco Ricci Bitti suggested Friday that more junior-level tournaments be held in order to provide young Chinese players with more opportunities to compete and improve.

Bitti admitted the players of the calibre of Li Na are rare, but said China can create the climate to develop more star players by having more junior tournaments, reports Xinhua.

"The success of Li Na and some other female players have drawn a lot of attention to tennis and this interest in the sport has created a climate where top level tournaments for both men and women are attractive to the Chinese audience. But what we need are more tournaments for juniors and entry-level professionals. This will give Chinese players a chance to compete in their own country and to develop their skills and perhaps become the next Li Na," said Bitti.

"We are pleased to see more and more interest in this in China and certainly delighted that there will be a new junior tournament, the ITF Junior Masters, starting next year in Chengdu."

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