SHENZHEN, China – Wang Qiang will lead a group of Chinese hopefuls at the 2019 Shenzhen Open, the tournament has confirmed.
With four home players going straight into the main draw of the event, it is the greatest representation the nation has enjoyed at the tournament, which had earlier confirmed the presence of marquee players such as Maria Sharapova, Jelena Ostapenko and Caroline Garcia.
Wang, the WTA World No.20, is the highest ranked of these women, while Zheng Saisai and Zhang Shuai also command spots just inside the Top 40. Completing the line up of home players is WTA World No.70 Wang Yafan.
“This is fantastic for tennis in China to see so many national players in the main draw,” tournament director Luiz Carvalho said. “In 2013 and 2014, Li Na won our first two tournaments; maybe one of these ladies will join her on the honour role in 2019. It is very exciting for the fans to be able to cheer on players from their own nation and we look forward to a great atmosphere around the courts.
“Not only are we happy to see so many national players, we are also excited about the rest of our wonderful line-up of players - like Maria Sharapova, Jelena Ostapenko and Caroline Garcia.
“But one young player is sure to attract plenty of attention and that is Aryna Sabalenka, the 20-year-old from Belarus, who has enjoyed a stunning season on the WTA Tour. Her name heads the full entry list and fans will definitely be thrilled to see her play.”
As WTA World No.13, Sabalenka is the highest-ranked player in the draw, which begins on December 30, 2018 and concludes on January 5, 2019.