Tennis: Soweto to stage two top events at Arthur Ashe Centre

2009-03-18 00:00

HISTORY will be made when Soweto hosts two top international events at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre next month.

Some 16 years after his death, the dream of three-time grand slam singles winner and former world number one Arthur Ashe will become a reality. The Soweto Men’s Open and Soweto Women’s Open will be played at the venue that bears his name.

Jabavu in Soweto sees the men’s ATP tournament from April 11 to 18 and the women’s ITF competition from April 25 to May 3. Each tournament carries R1 million prize money. These are the first-ever major international tennis tournaments to be staged in Soweto and are sponsored by the City of Johannesburg.

Following his controversial decision to play in the SA Open at Ellis Park in the 1970s, Ashe sponsored the tennis complex in Soweto to assist budding young black players. Over the years, the complex has been in decline, but two years ago, Ashe’s widow, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, opened the first phase of renovations — a joint venture between the SA Tennis Association, SA government and the National Lottery. Eight courts have grown to 16, plus the addition of a permanent grandstand on the 2 400 capacity showcase arena.

“Following the success of the recent SA Open, we are looking forward to Soweto hosting its first ever Challenger Tour event,” ATP World Tour CEO Brad Drewett said.

Jonathan Cook will be in Soweto for The Witness.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.