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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Graf Leads Tennis Stars To Moscow

The $450,000 Kremlin Ladies Open, which starts next week at the Olimpiisky Sports Complex, welcomes some familiar faces as well as newcomers.


Among those coming to Moscow for the first time will be world No. 1 Steffi Graf, who will be flown to Moscow by private jet for a two-day trip. Although back injuries are keeping Graf out of the tournament, the German will play an exhibition match with an as yet unannounced opponent.


Nevertheless, the Kremlin organizers have lured some of the world's best players, including the No. 3 in the world, Spain's Conchita Martinez, and sixteenth ranked Amanda Coetzer of South Africa.


One competitor sure to draw attention is Russia's Anna Kurnikova who lost to Graf in the U.S. Open.


Kurnikova will not get a shot at Graf this time, although her name is among those penciled in for Graf's exhibition match.


Organisers say the tournament's purse, which has risen nearly threefold in just two years, will grow again next year.


"The total prize money will approach $1 million, and it will be one of world's nine top tournaments," said Kremlin director Alexei Selivanenko.


Prices remain low with tickets from 5,000 rubles.


for the upper seats to 250,000 rubles for the VIP section.





, who will be flown to Moscow by private jet for a two-day trip,





The 15-year-old caught the world's eye at this year's U.S. Open, where she beat No. 14 seed Barbara Paulus before losing to Graf in the fourth round