WUHAN, September 21, 2018 (Press Release)
This year’s Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open main singles draw has pitted some of the world’s best players against each other right from the start.
The US$2.7 million WTA Premier 5 event in Central China starts in earnest on Sunday and features one of the strongest line-ups of any WTA event this season, so no surprise that many big names were handed tough draws in Friday’s glittering draw ceremony.
Among the first-round match-ups, last year’s Wuhan Open runner-up Ashleigh Barty takes on former Top 10 player Johanna Konta and Kiki Bertens faces Swiss star Belinda Bencic.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza plays Alison Van Uytvanck, the talented Belgian who knocked her out of Wimbledon earlier this year, while 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko finds herself up against entertaining Australian Daria Gavrilova. Coco Vandeweghe plays the in-form Donna Vekic and 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur will have the home crowd against her when she plays local favourite Shuai Zhang.
World No.1 Simona Halep is top seed in Wuhan and, like all the top eight seeds, receives a bye into the second round before she plays the winner of an all-Slovak tussle between former Wuhan Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova and former Wimbledon semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova. Defending champion Caroline Garcia will begin her title defence against either a qualifier or her former doubles partner and countrywoman Kristina Mladenovic after a bye.
The full singles draw is attached to this press release, with a full run-down of first round matches below.
Friday’s opening day of the 2018 tournament featured round 1 of qualifying, with 2016 Olympic Gold Medallist Monica Puig notching up a hard-fought 63 76(5) win over US rising star Claire Liu but top qualifying seed and Ekaterina Makarova falling to young Australian Lizette Cabrera, who earned one of the biggest scalps of her career with a 61 46 63 victory.
The second and final round of qualifying takes place on Saturday, with the day’s eight winners joining the 56-player Main Draw. Please scroll down for full day one qualifying results below and Saturday’s Order of Play.
Photo Gallery (by Xinhua News Agency):
DONGFENG MOTOR WUHAN OPEN – WUHAN, CHINA
21-29 September 2018
 S. Halep (ROU) – Bye
M. Rybarikova (SVK) vs. D. Cibulkova (SVK)
[WC] B. Pera (USA) vs. Qualifier
L. Tsurenko (UKR) vs.  D. Kasatkina (RUS)
 J. Goerges (GER) vs. [WC] V. Azarenka (BLR)
Qualifier vs. S. Hsieh (TPE)
A. Sabalenka (BLR) vs. C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
 E. Svitolina (UKR) – Bye
 A. Kerber (GER) – Bye
Qualifier vs. M. Keys (USA)
[WC] S. Zheng (CHN) vs. D. Collins (USA)
J. Konta (GBR) vs.  A. Barty (AUS)
 K. Bertens (NED) vs. B. Bencic (SUI)
A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs. A. Sevastova (LAT)
A. Krunic (SRB) vs. C. Giorgi (ITA)
 P. Kvitova (CZE) – Bye
 N. Osaka (JPN) – Bye
[WC] S. Stosur (AUS) vs. S. Zhang (CHN)
C. Vandeweghe (USA) vs. D. Vekic (CRO)
A. Kontaveit (EST) vs.  S. Stephens (USA)
 G. Muguruza (ESP) vs. A. Van Uytvanck (BEL)
Qualifier vs. Qualifier
K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs. Qualifier
 C. Garcia (FRA) – Bye
 K. Pliskova (CZE) – Bye
[WC] Q. Wang (CHN) vs. M. Sakkari (GRE)
A. Cornet (FRA) vs. B. Strycova (CZE)
D. Gavrilova (AUS) vs.  J. Ostapenko (LAT)
 E. Mertens (BEL) vs. A. Sasnovich (BLR)
Qualifier vs. K. Flipkens (BEL)
T. Babos (HUN) vs. Qualifier
 C. Wozniacki (DEN) – Bye
FRIDAY’S QUALIFYING RESULTS AND SATURDAY ORDER OF PLAY:
RESULTS – SEPTEMBER 21, 2018
Qualifying Singles – First Round
Qualifying – L. Cabrera (AUS) d  E. Makarova (RUS) 61 46 63
Qualifying –  K. Siniakova (CZE) d J. Teichmann (SUI) 63 63
Qualifying –  M. Puig (PUR) d C. Liu (USA) 63 76(5)
Qualifying – N. Gibbs (USA) d  S. Cirstea (ROU) 64 75
Qualifying –  R. Peterson (SWE) d X. Han (CHN) 63 61
Qualifying – [WC] X. Wang (CHN) d  V. Kuzmova (SVK) 76(5) 62
Qualifying –  S. Kenin (USA) d [WC] Z. Yang (CHN) 61 62
Qualifying – S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP) d  M. Linette (POL) 46 62 63
Qualifying –  M. Vondrousova (CZE) d C. Dolehide (USA) 36 61 61
Qualifying – V. King (USA) d  L. Arruabarrena (ESP) 61 60
Qualifying –  Y. Wang (CHN) d A. Anisimova (USA) 64 36 62
Qualifying –  P. Hercog (SLO) d C. Mchale (USA) 76(2) 61
Qualifying – Y. Duan (CHN) d  A. Bogdan (ROU) 26 63 62
Qualifying –  M. Niculescu (ROU) d F. Liu (CHN) 62 63
Qualifying – V. Golubic (SUI) d [WC] S. Lisicki (GER) 63 67(4) 61
Qualifying – [Alt] A. Zaja (GER) d [WC] F. Xun (CHN) 63 62