© Pingshan Open

The Ratiwatana Bros. tested their calligraphy skills during the Shenzhen Challenger.

Players Sample Local Culture At Shenzhen Challenger

Pingshan Open players take in off-court activities

Players competing at this week’s ATP Challenger Tour event in Shenzhen, China, stepped away from the court for a pair of off-site activities.

On Tuesday, Enrique Lopez-Perez of Spain joined WTA player Jovana Jaksic in visiting a Tsing Dynasty villa named Wanshi Habitat. They explored where the ancestors of Shenzhen citizens used to live and learned about Hakka culture and what the lifestyle entailed. They then delighted the local audience by hitting a few balls in a game of mini-tennis.

Also during the week, Thai brothers Sanchai Ratiwatana and Sonchat Ratiwatana tested their talents in a calligraphy classroom at the nearby Grandale International Tennis Academy. ‘Shenzhen Pingshan’ is the name of the tournament venue and it is the Chinese character they learned to write. After discovering the basic skills on holding a brush pen, the all-time winningest doubles team in Challenger history (42 titles) focused on writing the characters according to the teacher’s presentation.

On Wednesday, 2015 champion Blaz Kavcic joined students at the nearby Pingshan Experimental School for a 'Tennis On Campus' kids clinic. Afterwards, Kavcic presented the school with a signed souvenir ball.

The fourth annual Pingshan Open continues on Saturday, with Yuki Bhambri taking on Yuichi Sugita in one semi-final and Luca Vanni battling 2017 match wins leader Blaz Kavcic in the second.