Tennis bows out in Bali

The last WTA tournament of 2011 is also the finale for women’s pro tennis in Bali. The season-ending Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions, successor to the Wismilak International that made its Bali debut in 2001, moves to Sofia, Bulgaria, next year under new sponsorship.

As reported in Asia Times, the Bali tournament may have been a victim of its own success as it failed to find local stakeholder support. Tournament director Kevin Livesey hopes to bring a new event to Bali and says that building grassroots support will be a top priority if he succeeds.

Meanwhile, enjoy this year’s finale. Action gets underway Thursday, 5.30pm local time with what could be biggest slugfest of the tournament, world number 16 Peng Shuai meeting former top fiver Nadia Petrova. The nightcap matches defending champion Ana Ivanovic against Roberta Vinci, winner of three tournaments this season. Friday at 5.30pm, world number nine Marian Bartoli, Bali runner-up in 2009, faces Anabel Medina Garrigues, then Bali stalwart Daniela Hantuchova battles hard serving Sabine Lisicki. Each day’s winners meet in Saturday’s semifinals, with victors meeting in the final Sunday

If you’re in the neighborhood, come on down to the Bali International Convention Center at the Westin in Nusa Dua or watch on StarSports. Otherwise, follow along on the tournament website. Just don’t think about November in Bulgaria next year.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, financial crisis, and cheap lingerie. See his biography, online archive and more at

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