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Typhoon Sanba wipes out Korea Open tennis matches
SEOUL, Sept. 17 (Yonhap) -- Heavy rains and strong winds brought by Typhoon Sanba wiped out all first-round matches at the KDB Korea Open tennis event Monday, organizers said.

   Organizers of the only annual Women's Tennis Association tournament in South Korea canceled four singles and two doubles matches scheduled at Center Court and Court 2 at Seoul's Olympic Park. They didn't immediately announce rescheduling plans for the canceled matches.

   The third-seeded Kaia Kanepi of Estonia was among those set to begin their tournament Monday.

   The players had been scheduled to begin play at noon. Organizers at first postponed the matches and waited four hours before canceling them as the rainstorm showed no sign of abating.

   Kanepi, at No. 16, is one of four top-20 ranked players in the world in the field at this year's Korea Open. Caroline Woznacki, former world No. 1, is the highest-ranked player here at No. 11, joined by No. 14 Maria Kirilenko, the 2008 Korean Open champion, and the 18th-ranked Nadia Petrova.

   The Korea Open started in 2004 under the corporate sponsorship of Hansol, a local conglomerate with businesses in paper products, chemicals and construction. Starting this year, Korea Development Bank took over as the title sponsor and raised the total purse from US$220,000 to US$500,000.

   South Korea has four players in the tournament, with Han Sung-hee the highest-ranked of the contingent at No. 260. No South Korean has won a singles title at the Korea Open.

   Previous singles champions include multiple Grand Slam winners Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams.

   jeeho@yna.co.kr
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