WUHAN, September 18, 2018 (Press Release)
Former US Open champion Samantha Stosur, rising American star Bernarda Pera and Chinese fan favourite Saisai Zheng will join a host of superstar players at next week’s Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open after accepting wildcards into the Main Draw of the US$2.7 million WTA Premier 5 event in central China.
The tournament, which is one of the most prestigious stops of tennis’ ‘Asian Swing’, runs 21-29th September.
Stosur, who won the 2011 US Open and was runner-up at Roland Garros in 2010, has a career-high ranking of No.4 in singles and No.1 in doubles. The Australian will be one of ten Grand Slam singles champions in a Main Draw line-up which also includes Simona Halep, Garbiñe Muguruza, Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova, Sloane Stephens, Jelena Ostapenko, Victoria Azarenka and newly-crowned US Open champion Naomi Osaka.
Samantha Stosur said:
“We came here ready to play quallies but to get a wildcard is very exciting. It’s really good to be in the Main Draw here so I’m very appreciative and what a great opportunity for me – it’s another chance to play the best of the best.
“The women’s Tour is so strong now and there are so many good players that you’ve got to be ready to go right from the first round. Now I have a few extra days to prepare.”
Twenty-three-year-old Pera, who reached a career high of 68 in the WTA World Rankings earlier this year, is one of the most improved players on Tour this season.
Zheng, who is ranked No.3 in China, will join countrywomen Shuai Zhang and Qiang Wang to ensure a strong line-up of local players for fans to cheer.
Tournament Co-Director Fabrice Chouquet said:
“We’re delighted to welcome Sam, Bernarda and Saisai to Wuhan. All three are wonderful additions to our already incredibly strong draw. Sam is one of the most experienced and accomplished players on the Tour and Bernarda has enjoyed some great results this year. Having Chinese players like Saisai as well as our international stars really lifts the atmosphere and creates a buzz for the fans.”
Qiang Wang (CHN) and Azarenka are this year’s other singles wildcard recipients.
Venus Williams has unfortunately been forced to withdraw from this year’s Wuhan Open. The 2015 singles champion, who had previously accepted a wildcard into the Main Draw, does not feel physically ready to compete next week.
Venus Williams said:
“I’m really disappointed because it’s such a great tournament and I was looking forward to playing in front of the Chinese fans again. At this stage of my career, though, I have to listen to my body and unfortunately sometimes that means taking tough decisions like this. There’s an amazing line-up of players in Wuhan this year though and I’m sure it’s going to celebrate its fifth birthday in style. I wish everyone a great tournament.”