Chengdu is the hometown of Grand Slam champions Zheng Jie and Yan Zi, who won the women’s double championships at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006. The recent tennis boom in China, has led to increased interest in tennis in Chengdu. Over 700 standard tennis courts have been built in the city in the past 10 years, and the registered membership for the Chengdu Tennis Association have grown to over 10,000 from the original 2,000 in the 1980s.
Chengdu is now part of an elite group of cities to host an ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Champions Tour tournament, along with London, Zürich, São Paulo and Delray Beach. Chengdu Open, an ATP Championships Tour starting in 2009, have successfully invited star players including Pete Sampras, Marat Safin, Carlos Moya, Tomas Enqvist, and Mark Philippoussis.
Football/Chengdu Blades F.C. (Association football)
Football is a popular sport in Chengdu. Currently, Chengdu Blades Football Club, Chengdu’s football team, plays in the 42,000-seat Chengdu Sports Stadium in the Chinese League One. The club was founded on February 26, 1996 and was formerly known as Chengdu Wuniu (Five Bulls) named after their first sponsor, the Wuniu (Five Bulls) Cigarette Company. The English professional football club, Sheffield United F.C., took over the club on December 11, 2005. The club was later promoted into the China Super League until they were embroiled in a match-fixing scandal in 2009. Punished with relegation the owners eventually sold their majority on December 9, 2010 to Hung Fu Enterprise Co., Ltd and Scarborough Development (China) Co., Ltd. On May 23, 2013 the Tiancheng Investment Group announced the acquisition of the club.
Chengdu, along with Shanghai, Hangzhou, Tianjin and Wuhan, hosted the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup
Major sports venues
Chengdu Sports Stadium
Chengdu Sports Stadium is located in downtown Chengdu, covering 140 acres (57 ha) and has 42,000 seats. As one of the landmarks of Chengdu, it’s the first large multi-purpose venue in Chengdu that can accommodate sports competitions, trainings, social activities, and performances. It is the home stadium of the Chengdu Blades, Chengdu’s football team. The stadium hosted 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Sichuan International Tennis Center
Located 16 km (10 mi) away from Chengdu’s Shuangliu International Airport, Sichuan International Tennis Center covers an area of 250,000 square meters. It is the largest tennis center in southwest China and the fourth tennis center in China meeting ATP competition standards, after Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing. This center is equipped with 36 standard tennis courts and 11,000 seats. Since 2009, the Chengdu Open, an ATP Championship Tour tournament, is held here annually.