Liverpool Hope International Tennis Tournament returns for 15th yearMonday 18 April 2016
The build up to this year's Liverpool Hope International Tennis Tournament began with a press conference today where Dr Omid Alizadehkhaiyat, Associate Professor of Sport and Exercise Science in the School of Health Sciences at Liverpool Hope University, discussed the department's latest research into the health benefits of tennis.
This year’s Tournament has an international field headed by ATP stars Damir Dzumur (Bosnia), Rajeev Ram (USA) and the return of Audrey Roublev (Russia) in addition to Akira Santillian (Japan).
The tournament takes place at Liverpool Cricket Club from the 16th to 19th of June 2016. It is the longest running and largest tennis exhibition in Europe and since 2002 has introduced up and coming and established WTA and ATP players combined with the ever popular Legends of Tennis.
Last year’s finalist Damir Dzumhur has recently achieved wins against top 10 players such as Rafael Nadal and Thomas Berdych and is looking to go one further this year. He said: “I had a great time in Liverpool last year and can’t wait to come back and play for the International trophy, it’s a perfect way to warm up for Wimbledon.”
The Women’s field is headed by Wang Qiang who will be the first ever Chinese participant at the Liverpool Tournament. She is coached by Peter McNamara who has been to Liverpool on several occasions. During the tournament, Miss Wang will be facing top competition from The Russian starlet Sofya Zhuk who won Junior Wimbledon last year and the Australian Open Junior Champion along with world number 1 on the ITF ranking, Vera Lapko from Belarus.
Dr Omid Alizadehkhaiyat, Associate Professor of Sport and Exercise Science in the School of Health Sciences at Liverpool Hope University said: “Liverpool Hope University is looking forward to another year as title sponsor of the tennis tournament. We are committed to researching how sport and exercise can improve health and wellbeing at all ages. We have invested in a brand new £8.5 million Health Science building, work has begun on a £5.5 million sports complex, and we are leading two new health science research projects, one that explores the multidimensional health benefits of tennis, and one that looks at the benefits of exercising as we age. We are excited to be part of an event which encourages people of all ages to invest in their long term health and wellbeing and try tennis, even if they have never picked up a racket before.”
Tournament director Anders Borg says, “I am convinced we have a future world number one in our players’ field this year, we have great history in featuring young promising players such as Novak Djokovic and Caroline Wozniacki and our players’ field this year features some very talented up and coming players “
Former Liverpool and England Captain Mark Wright has been announced as one of this year’s tennis ambassadors.
The legends event is headed by Mansour Bahrami of Iran who will be joined by Peter McNamara of Australia, former Liverpool International champion Xavier Malisse, Belgium and JM Gambill of USA in addition to Britain’s Jeremy Bates and Liverpool’s own Barry Cowan.
Picture: David Rawcliffe/Propaganda