Tennis fans in China have created a Guinness World Record, just days prior to the start of the China Open tournament, which is scheduled to begin on 27 September. The tournament, regarded as one of the biggest tennis events in Asia, has already confirmed the entries of top seeds Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams this year.
On Saturday, Chinese tennis star Zheng Jie joined 814 tennis fans at the National Tennis Center in Beijing as a part of the China Open Fans Day Carnival, to create a new record of "Most people bouncing tennis balls on tennis racquets".
The crowd, which included a host of celebrities from the country, sportspersons, media and general tennis fans, shattered the previous feat which was achieved at the US Open in 2012, to set a new record.
Jie, the winner of the women's doubles event in the Australian Open and the Wimbledon in 2006, joined the fans in giving them directions, and at the end, 767 people successfully achieved the feat of bouncing the ball for 15 seconds at the Diamond Court.
The previous record for the same was 681.
Jie, who reached the finals of the Australian Open women's doubles this year, along with her partner Chan Yung-jan, was rumoured to retire this year, after her first round exit from Wimbledon. However, she said that it's difficult for her to give up tennis at the moment, as she prepares for the China Open.
"A lot of things are difficult to say. I don't have any strict rules for myself. I have loved tennis from when I first started playing so it's very difficult for me to say goodbye," the 32-year-old was quoted saying to China Radio International.
The prize money of the China Open is $7.4 million, and reportedly, ten Grand Slam singles champions have been confirmed to take part in the tournament.