There’s a chance you’ve known this for a while, since it was first reported on September 6 (by Indo-Asian News Service, of all places), but Li Na will face Novak Djokovic in a “battle of the sexes” on September 27 to mark the 10th year of the China Open at Beijing’s National Tennis Center. It’s a wonderful little PR stunt, pitting the world’s top-ranked men’s player against the women’s No. 5 playing in her home tournament.
Needless to say, this charity exhibition won’t live up to the original “battle of the sexes,” the sport’s seminal intergender showdown between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in 1973. (Mark Dreyer points out over at The Li-Ning Tower that this year marks the 40th anniversary of that famous match.) But it’s not supposed to. The world’s best men’s player — who has delighted Chinese crowds before — will take on one of China’s most respected — if not officially loved — athletes. Fans are the winner here.
China Daily has this info on how to get tickets:
Fans can log on to t.chinaopen.com.cn or call the 400-707-6666 hotline to buy tickets, which are priced at 198 yuan ($32) and 498 yuan.