ZHUHAI, October 30, 2017
US-American Coco Vandeweghe and China’s Shuai Peng will open the 2017 Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai on Tuesday when they play the first match in the singles group stages. The pair have been pitted alongside Elena Vesnina in the Bougainvillea Group for the season-closing showcase in Southern China.
Two-time Grand Slam champion and former World No.1 Angelique Kerber faces recent Hong Kong Open champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (drawn in the Rose Group alongside Australian Ashleigh Barty) in the night session match on Day One.
“It’s the first time I’m here in Zhuhai so I’m really excited because it’s a new place and it’s not so often during the year that it happens because you usually play the same tournaments all the time. I’ve had some good practice and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m feeling very welcome here. Everyone is really friendly,” Kerber said.
“That is how I’m looking at this tournament. I’m not trying to look back at the year; I’m trying to look ahead and trying to end the year as well as I can by putting everything on the court, winning as many as matches as I can and going to my holidays with a good feeling. Of course I’m looking forward to holidays but this is a tournament where the players deserve to be here. It’s a tough tournament but it’s an opportunity to get better, have good competition and maybe also going with a good feeling to next season.”
Rybarikova To Face Goerges
Wimbledon semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova takes on Germany’s Julia Goerges in Tuesday’s other match. Goerges is fresh from winning the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow to seal her place in the select Zhuhai field. They have been drawn in Azalea Group alongside Kristina Mladenovic, the highest ranked player in singles in Zhuhai.
The season-ending WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai features twelve of this season’s best singles players drawn into four groups. In the Round Robin format each groups has three players who must play each other in a bid to finish top of their group and reach the Saturday’s knock-out stages.
Chinese star Shuai Zhang and her partner Jing-jing Lu are likely to be the headline act in the doubles competition, which features six teams in two groups in a Round Robin format.
The group names of the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai is a nod to the picturesque Chinese coastal city’s reputation as the ‘City of Flowers’.
Round Robin – Azalea
 K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs.  J. Goerges (GER)
 K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs.  M. Rybarikova (SVK)
 J. Goerges (GER) vs.  M. Rybarikova (SVK)
Round Robin – Bougainvillea
 C. Vandeweghe (USA) vs.  E. Vesnina (RUS)
 C. Vandeweghe (USA) vs.  [WC] S. Peng (CHN)
 E. Vesnina (RUS) vs.  [WC] S. Peng (CHN)
Round Robin – Camillea
 S. Stephens (USA) vs.  A. Sevastova (LAT)
 S. Stephens (USA) vs.  B. Strycova (CZE)
 A. Sevastova (LAT) vs.  B. Strycova (CZE)
Round Robin – Rose
 A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs.  A. Kerber (GER)
 A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs.  A. Barty (AUS)
 A. Kerber (GER) vs.  A. Barty (AUS)
Round Robin – Lotus
 R. Olaru (ROU) / O. Savchuk (UKR) vs.  [WC] C. Liang (CHN) / Z. Yang (CHN)
 R. Olaru (ROU) / O. Savchuk (UKR) vs.  Y. Duan (CHN) / X. Han (CHN)
 [WC] C. Liang (CHN) / Z. Yang (CHN) vs.  Y. Duan (CHN) / X. Han (CHN)
Round Robin – Orchid
 A. Rosolska (POL) / A. Smith (GBR) vs.  J. Lu (CHN) / S. Zhang (CHN)
 A. Rosolska (POL) / A. Smith (GBR) vs.  [WC] X. Jiang (CHN) / Q. Tang (CHN)
 J. Lu (CHN) / S. Zhang (CHN) vs.  [WC] X. Jiang (CHN) / Q. Tang (CHN)