ZHUHAI, China -- The field has been set, and the draws have been completed for the Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, the final stop on the WTA for 2017.
The WTA Elite Trophy features the top players in the world who did not play the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global last week, and, as usual, a field of accomplished veterans, rising talents, and WTA stars form an exquisite group of 12 singles players and six doubles teams.
The singles players have been divvied up into four groups of three players, and the players in each group will battle each other in a round-robin format to determine who will advance to the semifinals. The doubles has two groups of three teams, which will sort out who will play in the championship match.
Leading the field is top seed Kristina Mladenovic, who cracked the Top 10 for the first time in her career earlier this month, and heads the Azalea Group. Mladenovic had a fantastic start to 2017, winning the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, reaching the final of the Mutua Madrid Open, and making the second Grand Slam quarterfinal of her career in Paris.
Other players who have won some of the biggest titles of the year also appear in the draw. Sloane Stephens, the No.3 seed and reigning US Open champion, is placed at the top of the Camellia Group, while Elena Vesnina, winner of the 2017 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, finds herself in the Bougainvillea Group with No.2 seed CoCo Vandeweghe.
Finally, the Rose Group features last year's World No.1 Angelique Kerber, a two-time major champion. Kerber will face off against No.4 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, winner of three singles titles this year, as well as Ashleigh Barty, who has risen over 250 spots in the rankings this year.
Kristina MLADENOVIC (1), France
Julia GOERGES, Germany
Magdalena RYBARIKOVA, Slovakia
Goerges has a 2-1 head-to-head lead against Mladenovic, including a win this year at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. But Rybarikova has 1-0 head-to-head leads over both Goerges and Mladenovic.
CoCo VANDEWEGHE (2), United States
Elena VESNINA, Russia
PENG Shuai (WC), China
Peng and Vesnina have played nine times between 2006 and 2015, with Peng holding a slight 5-4 edge. Vandeweghe won her only match against Vesnina, at the Apia International Sydney this year, and the American has never played Peng.
Sloane STEPHENS (3), United States
Anastasija SEVASTOVA, Latvia
Barbora STRYCOVA, Czech Republic
In their only meeting, Stephens beat Sevastova in a final-set tiebreak in this year's US Open quarterfinals, en route to her title. Stephens also leads Strycova 2-1 in their head-to-head. Strycova, however, leads Sevastova 2-0 in their career meetings.
Anastasia PAVLYUCHENKOVA (4), Russia
Angelique KERBER, Germany
Ashleigh BARTY, Australia
Pavlyuchenkova and Kerber are deadlocked at five wins apiece, but the Russian won both meetings in 2017. Pavlyuchenkova leads Barty 2-0 in their career meetings, both taking place in 2013. Kerber barely beat Barty in their only meeting, which was this year at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp.
Raluca OLARU (ROU)/Olga SAVCHUK (UKR)
YANG Zhaoxuan (CHN)/LIANG Chen (CHN)
DUAN Ying-Ying (CHN)/HAN Xinyun (CHN)
Alicja ROSOLSKA (POL)/Anna SMITH (GBR)
ZHANG Shuai (CHN)/LU Jing-Jing (CHN)
TANG Qianhui (CHN)/JIANG Xinyu (CHN)