It’s been seven years since Belgian city of Antwerp last hosted a WTA event and now tournament director Kim Clijsters is making sure that we can already feel the great vibe of the upcoming BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games, as it offers strong player field, exhibition matches, comprehensive entertainment experience, and the most beautiful trophy tennis has to offer, a 4.5 kilograms of gold and 2008 diamonds that will go into the hands of a player who wins this tournament twice in three years.
The Premier-level tournament worth $731,000 will take place February 9th-15th in the Sports Palace and player list includes Eugenie Bouchard, Angelique Kerber, Dominika Cibulkova, Andrea Petkovic, Lucie Safarova, Carla Suarez Navarro, Alize Cornet, Karolina Pliskova, as well as home stars Kirsten Flipkens and Yanina Wickmayer.
— Kim Clijsters (@Clijsterskim) February 5, 2015
Helping Clijsters in the organization is creative director Elodie Ouedraogo, former Olympic medal winner in athletics, who is, in her own words “trying to build a bridge between high performance sports and the experience that goes with it”, and she added:
We will take care of the decoration of all the spaces, of sound and music and of things that people can participate in and experience. We want to surprise the spectators as much as we can. Every day will be a different day.
To support this approach, the tournament players’ party to be held on Monday will be open for 2,000 fans, who will have a chance to meet their tennis stars in the lounge of the Sports Palace. Women’s Tennis Blog’s photographer will probably be there as well! 😉 And even that’s not all! Every 100th ticket buyer receives a 10-carat diamond. Over 30,000 tickets have already been sold.
REMINDER: Amelie Mauresmo is a proud owner of the valuable diamond racquet, having won the tournament, then called the Proximus Diamond Games, for three consecutive years (2005, 2006 and 2007). At the time the condition was to win the event three times in five years and now they’ve apparently changed to two times in three years.