Tennis legends Li Na and Martina Navratilova joined forces in Shanghai today to celebrate inspirational women in the community, a theme that is set to become a key focus of Australian Open 2016.
Just days after the first ever international launch of the Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific in Shanghai, the Chinese business and tennis communities united on Friday for the inaugural Focus on Women event supported by ANZ.
Speaking in Shanghai, Tennis Australia Customer Relations Director Jaquie Scammell said the organization was proud to promote equal opportunity both on and off the court.
“Tennis is already a powerful platform for gender equality,” Scammell said.
“It is one of the only professional sports to offer not only equal prize money, but prime time broadcast exposure and blockbuster event billing, especially at the Australian Open and other Grand Slam tournaments where the world’s top women compete side by side with their male counterparts.”
Tennis champion Li Na with the Australian Open trophy at the Focus on Women event in Shanghai
“Instead of celebrating and patting ourselves on the back for what we’ve done, we must look ahead to where we are going and what we want to achieve.”
Tennis Australia’s commitment to increased opportunities for women in all walks of life will be highlighted at this summer’s Australian Open.
The Focus on Women lunch is part of Tennis Australia’s ongoing commitment to the Asia-Pacific region, with a dynamic events calendar designed to promote the sport and the Australian Open tournament.
Tennis legend Martina Navratilova with the Australian Open trophy at the Focus on Women event in Shanghai
Li Na, who became the first Asian woman in history to win a Grand Slam title when she took out the French Open crown in 2011, and 18-time major winner Navratilova, said the event was an important initiative for both gender and Asia-Pacific relations.