China Open Confirms Its Shangri-La

China Open announced today that
the Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing has been appointed as the Official Hotel of
the Tournament on a long-term basis. China’s Grand Slam scale event will
be held in the Capital from September 10-26 under sanction from the ATP
and WTA. Tournament officials also confirmed that the 300 plus international
players participating in the China Open would be accommodated at the
Shangri- La Hotel, Beijing during their entire stay in the Capital. The
Event has already confirmed the attendance of top-star players from over
20 countries including the newly crowned Princess of Wimbledon Maria
Sharapova, 14-time Grand Slam title winner Serena Williams, Grand Slam
titleholders Marat Safin, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Carlos Moya and China’s own
Zheng Jie.

“We are very pleased to designate the Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing as the
Official Hotel of the China Open. It is a fact that we will have a very
large number of significant celebrities attending the China Open. This
will be a truly star-studded event and it is very important that the
players feel comfortable and have a great time in Beijing. Shangri-La
Hotel, Beijing is selected for its fine reputation for the highest quality
service and the wonderful new facilities since its recent multi-million
refurbishment program. The China Open is partnering with the Shangri-La
Hotel, Beijing in ensuring that the players from the ATP and WTA enjoy
“Beijing at its very best,” said Mr. Lincoln Venancio, Tournament Director
of China Open.

Among all of the top players participating in the China Open, 17-year old
Maria Sharapova is singled out as being expected to attract the most
attention from the public and to require a great level of servicing and
care.

“Without question, we must take great care of Maria. She has just turned
17 a few months ago, is truly beautiful, plays very powerful tennis and
somehow managed to overcome the pressure and lack of experience to defeat
Serena, one of the greatest players of all time, right on the Wimbledon
Center Court on her first-ever Grand Slam final. Her achievement is truly
remarkable and it is no wonder that she presently is the world’s hottest
sports celebrity,” added Mr. Lincoln Venancio.

The Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing, celebrated for its brand of Asian
Hospitality, famous for its gracious service and selected by Conde Nast
Traveller as the “Best Hotel in China” for three consecutive years, has
just completed a USD22 million upgrade program.

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“We are delighted that Shangri-La, Beijing is selected as the Official
Hotel of the China Open. We fully understand the China Open’s ambition to
become one of the world’s top five tennis tournaments and Asia’s premier
sports event. We will deliver our “trademark Shangri-La service and
hospitality” to the China Open players and guests,” said Mr. George Wee,
General Manager of the Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing.

“I am very happy to hear that we will be staying at the Shangri-La Hotel,
Beijing during our stay for the China Open. I have heard a lot about how
this largest Asian-based deluxe hotel group is regarded as one of the
world’s finest. I also understand that in the past, this Hotel has taken
care of great dignitaries like Britain’s John Major, Russia’s Boris
Yeltsin and the USA’s Madeleine Albright. I am sure they will also take
great care of us,” said ATP world #4 Carlos Moya of Spain, who is also
confirmed to play at the China Open.

The Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing is also developing attractive packages for
fans visiting Beijing for the Event.

“We will also take great care of the fans traveling to Beijing to attend
the Open. We have developed special packages that feature the best seats
at the tennis, convenient transportation service and an opportunity for
the fans to stay and dine in the same hotel as the star players,” added
Mr. Wee.

The China Open will be held in the 2008 Olympic City at the newly built
state-of-art Beijing Tennis Center featuring a 10,000-seat Center Court
and an additional 15 match courts. The Tournament includes competitions
for ATP and WTA players, ITF junior players in singles, doubles and mixed
doubles.

The Open aims to become the world’s “fifth Major” and will be televised
nationwide by CCTV for over 150 hours. Ticket sales were launched in late
July under very strong demand from fans. Over 600,000 fans are expected to
attend this major festival of tennis which also counts on the
participation of the ATP’s former French Open champions Juan Carlos
Ferrero, Carlos Moya and finalist Guillermo Coria, former US Open champion
Marat Safin, top 10 stars David Nalbandian and Rainer Schuettler, Asian
number one Paradorn Srichaphan, and Dominik Hrbaty, Taylor Dent, Younes El
Aynaoui, Hicham Arazi, Sjeng Schalken and many others. The women’s field
includes China’s new tennis star Zheng Jie, newly crowned Queen of
Wimbledon and Princess of tennis Maria Sharapova, WTA top 10 Kuznetsova,
Zvonareva and fourteen-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and famous
Serbia player Jelena Dokic.

The China Open is organized under the leadership of China’s National
Ministry of Sport and the Beijing Municipal Government in co-operation
with the Beijing Youth Daily and Tom Group Limited. The Organizing
Committee is headed by Yuan Weimin, Minister of General Administration of
Sport of China and Wang Qishan, Mayor of the Beijing Municipal Government.
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