China's Wuhan Open tennis tournament marked  International Women's Day on Friday by announcing that it will have two female tournament directors.

A statement by the organizing committee said New Zealander Brenda Perry and Li Qiuping of China will become the first women appointed to run a WTA Premier 5 event.

Both Perry and Li have been working closely with the Wuhan Open for a long time.

The statement said that the Wuhan Open will be the highest level professional tournament with female tournament directors.

"The tournament has enjoyed a hugely successful first five years and now we have a wonderful opportunity to build on that success," Perry said. "I really look forward to working with Li Qiuping and the rest of our great team in Wuhan to keep driving the Wuhan Open forward, ensuring that it continues to be one of the best tennis events in the world.” 

Wuhan-born Li is also excited about the new challenge as she believes that the central Chinese city has its own attractive elements other than the tournament.

"The city of Wuhan has featured many amazing women in its history and we believe that our tournament is part of their legacy," she said. "For example, historical Wuhan heroine Hua Mulan, a symbol of strength, courage and vision, was an inspirational female leader with a spirit that Brenda and I aspire to emulate."

In last year's Wuhan Open, rising star Wang Qiang made history by becoming the first Chinese player to reach the semifinals.

This year's tournament will run from September 22-28.