Shanghai to get Masters Series tournament in 2009

Updated: March 28, 2007, 8:38 AM ET
Reuters

By Martyn Herman

LONDON, March 28 - The Chinese city of Shanghai will host an ATP Masters Series tournament starting in 2009, the ATP have confirmed.

Shanghai hosted the season-ending Masters Cup in 2002, 2005 and 2006, but this will be the first time a top tier Masters Series event has been staged in Asia.

"We are delighted to confirm that the ATP will expand its relationship with the city, its tennis fans and our partners in Shanghai in their world class tennis facility and stadium," ATP executive chairman and president Etienne de Villiers said in a statement.

"China is a major growth market for tennis and it is vital for the sport to have premium events in its major cities, ideally on a continuing basis."

There are currently nine Masters Series tournaments on the men's tour although that number will drop to eight in 2009.

No decision has been taken yet on which of the current Masters Series tournaments will lose their status, although one is expected within the next month, according to an ATP spokesman on Wednesday.

At present there are five in Europe -- the claycourt events in Monte Carlo, Rome and Hamburg and indoors in Madrid and Paris -- and four in North America, all on hard courts in Indian Wells, Miami, Montreal and Cincinnati.

Shanghai will host the next two Masters Cup tournaments but but it will move elsewhere in 2009, probably to Europe.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index