TIANJIN, China - Former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka has added the Tianjin Open to her fall schedule as she continues to come back from maternity leave, the tournament announced today.
The Belarusian, who first returned from giving birth to son Leo in June 2017 but only began playing a full schedule this March in Indian Wells, will be making her debut in Tianjin in the fifth edition of the International event.
Azarenka, who received a main draw wildcard to the US Open this week, has raised her ranking to a current rung of World No.87. The 29-year-old's highlights of her comeback include a fourth-round run at Wimbledon last year, a semifinal showing in Miami in March, and a quarterfinal place in San Jose two weeks ago. She has scored four Top 20 wins since returning to the game, of which the best was a 7-5, 6-3 defeat of Karolina Pliskova in Miami.
The two-time Australian Open champion joins another former World No.1, defending champion Maria Sharapova, in the Tianjin field. The Russian, now ranked No.21, won the sole title to date of her own return to tennis last year without dropping a set, defeating Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 7-6(8) in the final.
"I have really enjoyed playing in China in the past and had some great successes there, so I am really looking forward to going to Tianjin, a new city for me, and playing in my first Tianjin Open," enthused Azarenka in a press release.
"Vika is a global superstar, but more importantly she is super-popular here in China," said tournament director Stephen Duckitt. "I know the Tianjin Open fans are going to love seeing her play."