Wuhan (China), Aug 16 (IANS) The star-studded line-up at the 2017 WTA Wuhan Open will feature 17 of the world’s top 20 tennis players, including six Grand Slam singles champions, the organisers said here on Wednesday.
Among the stars are Wimbledon winner of the year Garbine Muguruza, reigning US Open champion Angelique Kerber, 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko, World No.1 Karolina Pliskova and No.2 Simona Halep, who will line up for the $2.67 million WTA Premier 5 tournament, according to the 43-person main draw for the singles.
The Wuhan Open, which runs from September 22 till 30, made its debut in 2014 and is the second largest women’s tennis tournament in East Asia, after the China Open in Beijing, reports Xinhua news agency.
“I’m very excited to come back to Wuhan and play in front of the Chinese fans again. They’re always so much fun to play for because as players we can really feel their enthusiasm,” the organisers quoted Muguruza as saying.
“I’ve played well in Wuhan in the past and it’s a tournament I always love to play,” the former Wuhan Open runner-up added.
“We have brought some of the best female athletes in the world to Wuhan as part of our plan to grow this event into one of the best-known tennis tournaments in the world,” said Co-Tournament director Zhu Jianbin.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to showcase the city of Wuhan as a focus for international sport, as well as a chance to see women’s tennis at its very best,” he said.
As a global ambassador for the tournament, Chinese tennis legend Li Na, who was born in Wuhan, said she was happy to see so many friends on the name list and believed they would play the best matches in her home city.
“Since I retired, I have badly missed fighting on the court. This year I will watch them play and cheer them on,” the 35-year-old said, adding she would be making efforts to make more people fall in love with tennis and the Wuhan Open.
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