ZHUHAI - The first edition of Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai unveiled its singles draw after a grand ceremony open to the public, with 11 of the 12 main draw participants all present and ready to shine in Zhuhai.
"I can't wait to play and be part of the last event of the year," Williams said on Sunday. "The tournament has done a fantastic job of welcoming us and letting all of China know about it. I'm just ready to get out there!"
Asked about playing Williams, Keys - who won their only 2015 encounter at the Australian Open quarterfinals - is relishing the challenge of ending her breakthrough season on a high note.
"It's always tough having to play another country woman.But I think it'll be fun.I'm really excited to play,hopefully I can come out of that group."
Seeded second in Zhuhai is Carla Suárez Navarro, who was forced to miss the draw ceremony due to her doubles final in Singapore - where she finished runner-up with Garbiñe Muguruza to top seeds Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza. The Spaniard will meet WTA Rising Star Elina Svitolina and 2014 French Open semifinalist Andrea Petkovic from Germany in Group B. The winners of Group A and B will compete in the first semifinal.
In Group C, No.3 seed and WTA Rising Star Karolina Pliskova will be challenged by former No.1 Jelena Jankovic - who roared through the Asian Swing with titles in Guangzhou and Hong Kong - and Italian veteran Sara Errani.
"It's a tough group," admitted Jankovic. "All of the players are excited to be competing; it's the last week of the season. There are tough players in my group, players I've played against many times in the past. We know each other's games, and I just try to play the best that I can and try to pass my group."
The winner of Group C will face the top player from Group D, which will feature a fierce competition between US Open runner-up Roberta Vinci, two-time major champion and recent Kremlin Cup winner Svetlana Kuznetsova, and former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki.
"I think every group is tough," Wozniacki said. "We'll all just try to do our best. It's our last tourament of the season. Everyone wants to finish up well, and so do I.
"We'll wait and see what happens."
As the last tournament of the WTA calendar year, WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai stands out not only for its strong lineup but also for its unique format, with 12 players falling into four groups in a round robin format. The winner of each group qualifies for the semifinals.
The singles and doubles event offers $2.15 million in prize money and 700 champion points, and will be held in Hengqin International Tennis Center.