SHENZHEN, China - World No.8 Belinda Bencic heads the entry list for the 2020 Shenzhen Open, which starts on 4 January as one of three tournaments in the first week of the new season.

Joining the Swiss star, who reached the semifinals of the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen last month on her debut in the year-end finale, will be two further Top 20 players: defending champion and World No.11 Aryna Sabalenka, and World No.17 Elise Mertens. US Open quarterfinalist Wang Qiang will lead the home cohort, along with Wimbledon quarterfinalist Zhang Shuai, San Jose champion Zheng Saisai, Acapulco champion Wang Yafan and 2014 runner-up Peng Shuai.

The field also boasts two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza, 2017 champion Katerina Siniakova and 20-year-old rising star Elena Rybakina, who shot from World No.191 to World No.37 over the course of a breakthrough 2019 that saw the Kazakh lift her maiden WTA trophy in Bucharest.

The Shenzhen Open has been an International fixture on the WTA Tour calendar since 2013, and former victors include two-time Grand Slam champions Li Na and Simona Halep. In 2014, Li used her title run here as a springboard to win the Australian Open three weeks later, while Halep's 2018 title was followed by a final showing at the first major of the year.

2019 Shenzhen highlights: Sabalenka sinks Riske to claim crown