Russian's Vera Zvonareva is making her third appearance at the Shenzhen Open, and will feature in the singles main draw as a Top 20 wild card.
After taking time off tour to marry and give birth to daughter Evelyn, the 34-year-old Russian has worked her way back up the rankings and is currently World No.109 in singles. She reached the singles finals at Wimbledon and the US Open back in 2010 as well as a career high ranking of World No.2 in 2010. A quarterfinalist at the 2015 Shenzhen Open, her most notable run of 2018 came when she advanced through the qualifying to reach the quarterfinals at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
Veteran Peng Shuai will be the second local wild card to feature in the singles main draw, joining teenaged compatriot Wang Xinyu who was previously revealed as the first wild card. The 32-year-old Peng will be making her sixth appearance in the season-opening tournament, having made the last four in 2013 and the final in 2014.
Zvonareva and Peng will also feature in the doubles draw, the field for which was announced earlier this week.
Peng will team up with Yang Zhaoxuan to form the tournament’s second seeds, while Zvonareva will reunite with Timea Bacsinszky; the duo took home the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy title last Fenruary.
“China’s players are very well represented in the doubles draw. Besides having two of the top four seeds, we also have Duan Yingying and Zheng Saisai featuring prominently in the doubles and fans will no doubt get quite a thrill to see so many of their national players at the forefront,” Tournament Director Luiz Carvalho said.
“It is a tough doubles draw with a combination of experience, like the great Vera Zvonareva, who was also awarded the singles wild card, and younger players looking to carve their names on tour.”
The doubles seeds will be Japan’s Shuko Aoyama and Lidziya Marozava. They teamed up with good success in 2018, reaching the final of the WTA’s second year-end event at the Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuau as well as the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open final. They also reached the semifinals of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, where they stopped top seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic.
The tournament is very pleased to also announce that the first two days, December 29 and 30, will see free admission provided for Centre Court matches and there will be free admission to the other two match courts throughout the week.