WUHAN, China – No.1 seed Ashleigh Barty is projected to face Sofia Kenin, Belinda Bencic and Simona Halep in the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open if the draw goes according to seeding.
The WTA World No.1, who is in her second spell at the top of the ranking, is one of the eight highest-seeded players to be afforded a first-round bye, and will open her campaign against Daria Kasatkina or Caroline Garcia in the second round.
No.15 seed Kenin and 7th-seeded Bencic would be Barty's projected opponents in the round of 16 and quarterfinals respectively, if seeds hold.
Barty finds herself in a high-quality top quarter, in which Elise Mertens, Katerina Siniakova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova also lurk.
Meanwhile, in the second quarter, Wimbledon champion Simona Halep is slated to face another of SW19’s top performers this year in the form of Barbora Strycova in her first match, though the Czech will have to negotiate an opening clash with wildcard Wang Xiyu.
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Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka, the No.9 seed, is also in that second quarter and will play countrywoman Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round. Venus Williams or Danielle Collins await if she is successful.
WTA World No.3 Elina Svitolina is the headline act in the third quarter, where she will face either Peng Shuai or former World No.1 Garbiñe Muguruza in her opening tie.
Elsewhere in that section, there will be a repeat of the 2016 Olympic final as Monica Puig and Angelique Kerber square off in the first round. The winner of that match could end up facing Chinese No.1 Wang Qiang, the No.8 seed, for a spot in the quarterfinals.
In the bottom quarter, Karolina Pliskova could face 18-year-old French Open semifinalist Amanda Anisimova in the second round, though first the teenager must negotiate Guangzhou finalist Samantha Stosur. A potential quarterfinal against fellow Czech Petra Kvitova could await WTA World No.2 Pliskova.
The main draw of the Wuhan Open, which is in its sixth edition and is the final Premier 5 event for the year, will start on September 22.