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Season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai through '08

3/14/2006 - Tennis

SHANGHAI, China -- The season-ending Masters Cup will stay in Shanghai through 2008.

The decision to keep the men's tennis showcase in China's
commercial capital extends the agreement by one year, the ATP said
Tuesday. Shanghai first hosted the tournament in 2002.

"The city of Shanghai has embraced this tournament ... and we
all look forward to returning this year and for many years ahead,"
ATP executive chairman Etienne de Villiers said.

The event features the top eight ranked men's singles players
and doubles teams. Last year, David Nalbandian won the title by
defeating two-time defending champion Roger Federer at Qizhong
Tennis Center, which was built for the tournament.

Officials cited the 2008 Beijing Olympics as another factor in
Shanghai's favor.

"We hope the Tennis Masters Cup can add to the prestige of the
sports year," said Qiu Weichang, deputy director of the Shanghai
Administration of Sports.

The Masters Cup replaced the Heineken Open, which was based in
Shanghai for six years but moved in 2005 to Shenzhen.