December 15, 2023
BEIJING – Not quite the Grand Slams, but a grand feast of elite tennis as Macao played a generous host to the country’s year-end championships again with resounding success on and off the court.
As the season finale of the Chinese Tennis Association’s domestic circuit, the CTA Tour SJM Professional Finals, aka the National Tennis Championships, was staged in Macao for the third straight year last week, with champions of four events — men’s and women’s singles and doubles – crowned at the Macao Tennis Academy.
Cheered on by enthusiastic fans in the special administrative region, former world No 12 and 2019 US Open quarterfinalist Wang Qiang dominated youngster Wei Sijia in straight sets on Sunday to finish on top of the draw at her first tournament following a 15-month break due to injuries and personal affairs.
In the men’s draw, National Games bronze medalist Terigele ended up on top after his final opponent Bai Yan had to retire midway through the third set due to a sudden injury. Terigele’s Sunday victory has redeemed his 2021 final loss to star compatriot Wu Yibing on the same court and rekindled his confidence for tougher challenges on the entry-level professional circuit next season.
In the doubles finals earlier on Sunday, top-seeded pair Guo Hanyu and Jiang Xinyu defeated You Xiaodi and Tang Qianhui to claim the women’s crown before unheralded duo Wang Aoran and Xiao Linang came back from an opening set down to stun favorites Terigele and Buyunchaokete 3-1 to avenge their group-stage loss to their higher-profile rivals.
Organized by the sport’s governing body, Macao’s sports bureau and the special administrative region’s government, the tour finals offer the biggest purse of the year, easily eclipsing most of the financial rewards offered at the entry-level tournaments on the International Tennis Federation’s pro circuit.
Promoted by Colorfull (Macao) Cultural Technology Consultancy Ltd, the CTA Tour finals in Macao landed major sponsorship deals from companies such as SJM Resorts, as well as broadcast support from China Central Television, to further boost its profile since the inaugural edition in 2021.