The Hologic WTA Tour returns to Beijing for the first time in four years for the China Open, the last WTA 1000 tournament of the season.

With the Race to the WTA Finals in Cancun coming down the last four weeks of the season, the stakes are high in Beijing, where the winner can earn 1,000 points.

Here's what you need to know about the China Open:

When does the tournament start?

The China Open is the final WTA 1000 tournament of the Hologic WTA Tour's regular season. It is played on outdoor hard courts at the National Tennis Center in Beijing. The tournament features a 64-player singles draw and 32-team doubles draw. The Head Tour Regular Duty ball will be used. 

Main-draw play begins on Saturday, Sept. 30. 

More from Beijing:

When are the finals?

The finals will be played on Sunday, Oct. 8. The doubles final will be played at 4:30 p.m, followed by the singles final at 7:30 p.m.

Who are the Top 8 seeds?

1. Aryna Sabalenka
2. Iga Swiatek
3. Coco Gauff
4. Jessica Pegula
5. Elena Rybakina
6. Maria Sakkari
7. Ons Jabeur
8. Marketa Vondrousova

Champions Reel: How Naomi Osaka won Beijing 2019

Who are the defending champions?

The last edition of the China Open was played in 2019. That year, Naomi Osaka defeated Ashleigh Barty 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to win her second WTA 1000 title. 

In doubles, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sofia Kenin defeated Jelena Ostapeno and Dayana Yastremska 6-3, 6-7(5), [10-7].

When is the draw?

What is the prize money and ranking points? 

First round: $32,325/10 points
Second round: $52,000/65 points
Round of 16: $92,500/120 points
Quarterfinals: $185,018/215 points
Semifinals: $402,000/390 points
Final: $780,000/650 points
Champion: $1,324,000/1000 points

Key Storylines

Sabalenka and Gauff back in the mix: World No.1 Aryna Sabalenka and US Open champion Coco Gauff are playing their first tournaments since their momentous milestones in New York. Nicknamed "Daughter of China" by the local fans, Sabalenka won four of her first five titles in China, including two in Wuhan and one at the WTA Elite Trophy.

Gauff is making her tournament debut. She was still ranked outside the Top 100 when the tournament was last played in 2019. 

On the bubble: Jessica Pegula is on the cusp of becoming the fifth qualifier, while Marketa Vondrousova, Ons Jabeur and Maria Sakkari will try to shore up their qualifying chances. It is also the last opportunity for players on the outside looking in to make a move. That list includes Petra Kvitova, Barbora Krejcikova, Jelena Ostapenko and Daria Kasatkina.

Swiatek makes her debut: In addition to Gauff, Iga Swiatek is also set to play her first tournament in China. The tournament offers a good opportunity for Swiatek to round into prime form ahead of the WTA Finals and capture a WTA 1000 title this season.