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Swiss WTA Tour event becomes Samsung Open

Consumer electronics company Samsung has been unveiled as the new title sponsor of Lugano’s WTA Tour women’s tennis event, while Cornèr Bank has signed on as the presenting partner of the tournament in the Swiss city.

The event, which will now be known as the Samsung Open, is organised by the InfrontRingier agency. The lengths of the sponsor agreements were not disclosed.

During the event, which had previously been known as the Ladies Open, Samsung and Cornèr Bank will present their joint service, Samsung Pay. Samsung will also promote its product range on and off the court.

"The tournament will be fully Samsung-branded in all its products: from televisions and refrigerators in the public areas to LED boards with Samsung Galaxy and QLED TV, as well as washing machines on centre court," Dario Casari, sales director at Samsung, said. "In addition to naming, we also want to proactively shape the event in 2018. The mobile payment solution 'Samsung Pay' is ideal for this: a safe and easy payment method, just everywhere. At the Samsung Open, you can leave your wallet at home."

In October, InfrontRingier elected to switch the event to Lugano to tie in with surrounding events on the calendar. The event debuted as an International-level tournament on the WTA Tour from April 8-16 in the brand-new Swiss Tennis Arena in Biel.

From next year onwards, the Samsung Open will be held on clay courts in southern Switzerland. The second edition of the tournament will be held from April 9-15, 2018 at the tennis club of TC Lido Lugano.

InfrontRingier said the switch was made to offer players optimal conditions after their return from the popular US tournaments in Indian Wells and Key Biscayne. It added that due to the mild climate in Lugano it is possible to organise the tournament as an open-air event.

This year’s event was won by Markéta Vondroušová (pictured) of the Czech Republic.