Zhuhai set to welcome global greats

By Sun Xiaochen | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-26 06:39

WTA wraps up season with high-profile shootout in Guangdong coastal city

With a glittering international cast and a local wildcard entry, the Elite Trophy Zhuhai is set to serve up a year-end feast for fans in the emerging tennis hub in South China.

Zhuhai set to welcome global greats

On Wednesday, the Women's Tennis Association announced the player field for the third annual WTA Elite Trophy tournament, the finale of the WTA Tour, which will be held from Oct 31 to Nov 5 at Hengqin International Tennis Center in Zhuhai, Guangdong province.

The prestigious event features both singles and doubles draws, with players first competing in round-robin groups before advancing to the knockout stage.

The tournament offers total prize money in excess of $2.2 million and 700 ranking points for the singles champion.

The singles field will consist of 11 of the world's top 20, plus a wildcard, aside from those who are competing in the ongoing WTA Finals in Singapore, a higher-caliber tournament which features the world's top eight.

Among the stars set to light up Zhuhai are two Grand Slam champions, American Sloane Stephens (2017 US Open) and German Angelique Kerber (2016 Australian Open and US Open).

After their best season on the tour, France's Kristina Mladenovic and CoCo Vandeweghe of the US will make their Zhuhai debuts, together with first-time participant Peng Shuai, who earned the wildcard as the host nation's highest-ranked player at world No 27.

In all, this year's Zhuhai entrants have won 11 WTA singles titles in 2017.

"We are pleased to welcome the third edition of the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, featuring many of the top athletes on the WTA," said Steve Simon, WTA CEO and chairman.

"This signature event showcases top players along with up-and-coming stars, all joining together and celebrating their successes in the 2017 WTA season."

Peng, who in July won her second WTA singles title at an international-level tournament in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, is aiming for a deep run in Zhuhai to finish her season strong in front of a home audience.

"To be able to participate in the Zhuhai tournament has always been my goal throughout the year," said the 31-year-old.

"I cherish the wildcard entry very much, so I will try my best to deliver my best tennis to pay back the support of my home crowd."

Zhuhai set to welcome global greats

Peng's late-season form was highlighted by a string of impressive performances during the China swing of the season.

She defeated Czech two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova in the opening round of Wuhan Open and then reached the third round of the China Open in Beijing.

Next came a deep run in Tianjin that was ended by Maria Sharapova in the semifinals - a prelude to the Russian star's first title since returning from a 15-month doping suspension earlier this year.

The Zhuhai tournament offered the only wildcard to two other local players, Zheng Saisai and Zhang Shuai, in 2015 and 2016.

Tournament director Jose Miguel Garcia is confident the action in Zhuhai will be appealing to fans.

"After an amazing season of women's tennis, all the players that have gained their spot to play in Zhuhai are among the best players in the world. Great tennis is guaranteed for all the fans coming to Zhuhai and everyone following from home all over the world," Garcia said.

To make sure players have the best possible facilities at their disposal, event organizers have repaired damage to the venue's central court caused by a devastating typhoon in September.

In addition to the roof-covered 5,000-seat central court, the tennis center also features four show courts and 12 practice courts in the Hengqin New Area, one bridge away from Macao.

 Zhuhai set to welcome global greats

The WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, which takes place from Oct 31 to Nov 5, features 12 of the world's best female players, including China's Peng Shuai.Provided to China Daily

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349