|PTT Thailand Open 2015|
PTT Thailand Open continues to be a success story
The PTT Thailand Open celebrated its 24th year on the WTA calendar in 2015. Although the number of visitors to Pattaya was down from previous years due to the drop in tourists from Russia, this did not adversely affect the tournament which recorded only slightly lower levels of spectator turnout compared to 2014. Media coverage was again excellent and there was a strong field of players which proves once again that the PTT Thailand Open is one of the most popular events on the WTA tour.
This year the tournament maintained the prize money purse at US$250,000 and reverted back to its original week on the calendar following on from the Federation Cup. The Dubai tournament which follows on from Pattaya changed its schedule with qualifying starting on Saturday this had a knock on effect on the doubles draw at Pattaya, which was weaker than normal.
The tournament lost most of its seeded players by the quarterfinal stage of the tournament. However this did not affect the quality of the matches as the two semi-finals were both closely fought affairs each lasting almost 6 hours, a veritable feast of tennis for the spectators who certainly got their money’s worth of entertainment. When the dust had settled it was Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova and Alja Tomljanovic of Croatia who battled their way to the final.
The final was another thriller running again to 3 sets in a little under 3 hours with Daniela Hantuchova winning the tournament for a record third time.
Unfortunately there were not many positives for the Thai player’s in the draw. All 5 players competing in the singles competition surrended meekly without winning a set between them. It was left to veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn to fly the flag in the doubles competition, she and her partner Shuko Aoyama of Japan made it all the way to the final before losing in 3 sets to the Chan sisters from Taiwan.
Of note this year was a notable increase in TV coverage; Siam Keelah TV covered the main draw matches all week, with a minimum of 5 hours coverage per day. The international coverage was also comprehensive with the semi-finals and finals going out to an audience of over 52,000,000 households.