Unseeded Maria Sharapova joins world No. 1 Simona Halep and reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko as the favorites this week in Shenzhen.
The WTA stop also features returning champion Katerina Siniakova, and Halep trying to hang on to the No. 1 ranking this week ahead of Garbine Muguruza and Caroline Wozniacki who can take it away.
Here is a look at the field:
SHENZHEN, China; Surface: hard
Seeds: Simona Halep, Jelena Ostapenko, Zhang Shuai, Irina-Camelia Begu, Wang Qiang, Katerina Siniakova, Maria Sakkari, Timea Babos
Floaters: Alison Riske, Maria Sharapova, Camila Giorgi, Kristyna Pliskova
Notes: You get what you pay for on the WTA tour, and the Shenzen field drastically drops off after guarantee-receivers Halep and Ostapenko…Maria Sharapova also gets into the field unseeded and undoubtedly with some cash in pocket…Halep is trying to stay atop the WTA rankings this week, and Ostapenko is coming off an exhibition win over Serena Williams…Interesting starts include (5) Wang vs. the upset specialist Riske (winner to meet Sharapova), and (2) Ostapenko vs. the lesser Pliskova, winner to meet the scrappy Giorgi…Wildcards were awarded to China’s Liu Fangzhou, Wang Xiyu and Wang Yafan…Withdrawing from the event were Kateryna Kozlova and Sara Sorribes Tormo…Siniakova returns to defend her championship from 2017 when she beat Riske in the final. Halep (2015) is the other former champion in the field.
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