By David Gold

li_na_02-08-11October 1 - MATCH Hospitality has been appointed by the French Tennis Federation (FFT) as the sales agent for hospitality packages during the 2012 and 2013 editions of the French Open.

The Zurich based company, who hold the exclusive hospitality packages for FIFA World Cup games, will be tasked with increasing the popularity of the tournament in emerging markets such as Brazil and Russia.

They will also be looking to take advantage of new interest from the far east, in particular China, whose Li Na won this year's tournament after defeating Francesca Schiavone, becoming the first Asian to win a grand slam title in the process.

The tournament takes place in June each year, and is one of the most prestigious competitions on the international tennis calendar along with the other three grand slam events: Wimbledon, the US Open and Australian Open.

Pascal Portes, chief operating officer of MATCH Hospitality and a former French Davis Cup star in the 1980s, said: "For players and spectators alike, Roland Garros is unique in the world.

"Having had the privilege of playing on these courts, I am thrilled to return to the French Open with a hospitality offer that is befitting the status of these extraordinary tournaments."

FFT chief executive Gilbert Ysern added: "Roland Garros enthrals tennis fans all over the world.

"We are very pleased to have MATCH Hospitality AG selling hospitality packages internationally, thus contributing to the global success and acclaim of our tournaments."

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