Typhoon puts WTA Hong Kong Open final in doubt

Hong Kong (AFP) –


A typhoon cast a major cloud over Sunday's WTA Hong Kong Open final between Russia's sixth-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Daria Gavrilova, the seventh seed from Australia.

Severe Typhoon Khanun, packing winds of 155 kilometres per hour (97 miles per hour) and heavy rain, was passing close to the southern Chinese city on Sunday.

The Hong Kong Observatory raised a 'T8' typhoon warning at 8:40 am (0040 GMT), bringing much of the city's infrastructure to a standstill.

Organisers released a statement saying that if the typhoon signal was lifted before 8:00 pm (1200 GMT) then every effort would be made to play the singles final on Sunday.

There is also the doubles final, featuring Chinese pair Lu Jiajing and Wang Qiang against Taiwanese duo Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan.

"If typhoon signal No. 8 is lowered prior to 8pm today, the matches will be rescheduled to start as soon as possible at the tennis stadium of Victoria Park," said the statement.

"Owing to safety reasons, ticket holders who do not make use of the tickets today, whether the matches are held or not, can arrange for full refund."

The WTA will be desperate to complete the tournament on time as both singles finalists are due to take a 10-hour flight late on Sunday to Moscow, where they are seeded to play first-round matches in the Kremlin Cup on Tuesday.