Wuhan, China; surface: hard
Seeds: Simona Halep, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki, Garbine Muguruza, Angelique Kerber, Carla Suarez Navarro, Karolina Pliskova, Ana Ivanovic, Agnieszka Radwanska, Belinda Bencic, Elina Svitolina, Andrea Petkovic, Madison Keys, Roberta Vinci, Sara Errani
Floaters: Svetlana Kuznetsova, Victoria Azarenka, Venus Williams, Sam Stosur, Sloane Stephens, Jelena Jankovic, Genie Bouchard, Caroline Garcia
Notes: Seven of the Top 10 and a slew of floaters make Wuhan a much-watch from the first round this week…The Top 8 seeds receive opening-round byes…Potential tough starts dealt to (1) Halep vs. former world No. 2 Kuznetsova, (10) Radwanska vs. Venus, (8) Pliskova vs. Stosur, (5) Muguruza vs. Stephens, (6) Kerber vs. the former No. 1 Jankovic, (11) Bencic vs. Bouchard, and (16) Errani vs. the French comer Garcia…Wildcards went to Sharapova, Slovak Daniela Hantuchova, and China’s Liu Fangzhou and Zheng Saisai…Sharapova missed the entire hardcourt season with a leg injury and makes her comeback at Wuhan: “Obviously I have missed playing in many tournaments in the last few months, and as I was getting healthy and preparing and training, this tournament worked out really well in my schedule.”…At last year’s inaugural event Kvitova beat Bouchard in the final.
Tashkent, Uzbekistan; surface: hard
Seeds: Annika Beck, Carina Witthoeft, Polona Hercog, Johanna Larsson, Katerina Siniakova, Margarita Gasparyan, Jelena Ostapenko, Andreea Mitu
Floaters: Donna Vekic
Notes: Rough field with no Top 40 players…Wildcards were awarded to the Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina, and Uzbekistan’s Nigina Abduraimova and Sabina “Not Maria” Sharipova….Eight players pulled from the event, among the notables Kirsten Flipkens and Yanina Wickmayer…In last year’s final Karin Knapp beat Bojana Jovanovski, who has appeared in two straight finals, and is the lone former champ in the field (2013).
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