©

Mikael Ymer and Jared Donaldson learn the ancient local art of calligraphy and play a game of mini-tennis during a visit to the Wangjian Lou in Chengdu. Video and photo courtesy Chengdu Open

Donaldson & Ymer Soak Up Local Culture In Chengdu

#NextGenATP stars learn calligraphy

#NextGenATP players Jared Donaldson and Mikael Ymer took the opportunity to experience the local culture in Chengdu on Sunday as they visited ‘Wangjian Lou’, one of Chengdu’s cultural attractions that roughly translates as ‘river view pavilion’.

The American and Swede took part in a game of mini-tennis in the park before learning the ancient local art of calligraphy from a ‘sifu’ (master).

“There are not a lot of similarities between American and Chinese culture - we don’t have bamboo and cultural places like this,” said Donaldson. “It’s a really beautiful setting. I remember learning calligraphy in the fourth grade, but I haven’t practised it since - I think I did a good job though!

“I’m lucky to have this opportunity to visit places like these as a professional tennis player; my friends would be jealous! I love playing tennis in Asia and in China. The atmosphere is great and it’s very cool to experience all these different cultures.”

Ymer added, “It’s my first time in China and Asia, so it’s really amazing. This place is very special and I’ve never seen anything like this. The bamboo is beautiful and the master was very nice to show us how to paint the calligraphy. I’m quite amazed we managed to do it quite well.

“Everyone is so nice here in China; the people and the tournament staff are all amazing. It’s very well organised. To explore places like this at 18 or 19 is really a privilege.”

The 20-year-old Donaldson, who is currently sixth in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan, will open his campaign against another #NextGenATP player, Stefanos Tsitsipas, who came through qualifying. Donaldson is looking for a strong run at this ATP World Tour 250 tournament to keep up his momentum in the bid to qualify for the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.

The 19-year-old Ymer, a wild card entrant, will face Yen-Hsun Lu in the first round as he looks to claim his sixth tour-level win. 

Moet and Chandon off-court news