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WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai is predicted to be a high-octane contest. World #14 Elise Mertens of Belgium and #16 Caroline Garcia of France are preparing to join the fray in Hengqin from Oct 30 to Nov 4.
Mertens gained career-high world ranking this season with four singles and four doubles Women's Tennis Association (WTA) titles and 24 International Tennis Federation (ITF) titles pocketed before age 22. Her main-draw debut at the 2018 Australian Open was marked by straight-set victories en route to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance and advance to the semi-finals.
It will not be the first WTA season final for renowned French player Garcia. Steady performance took her for the first time to the fourth round at the Australian Open. She was also a semifinalist in Stuttgart and Madrid.
Meanwhile, 22-year-old Australian star Ashleigh Barty, ranked 19th globally, will join the lineup. She has won two singles and nine doubles titles on the WTA Tour, including one Grand Slam at the 2018 US Open with partner CoCo Vandeweghe. In the previous Zhuhai WTA tournament, Barty advanced smoothly to the semifinals.
Fast-rising Estonian Anett Kontaveit broke into the fourth round at both the Australian and French opens this year. Her best singles ranking of 21 was reached on Oct 1 after she finished as runner-up at the 2018 Wuhan Open.
Anett Kontaveit [Photos courtesy Zhuhai Daily]
Other players confirmed for this year's Zhuhai event include Garbine Muguruza, Julia Goerges, Madison Keys, and Wang Qiang.
The Organizing Committee will reveal the full lineup this weekend.
Reigning champion Julia Goerges and 2017 US Open runner-up Madison Keys will be the next to join Chinese wildcard holder Wang Qiang in the 12-player singles field at WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai.
Two-time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza is a favored player at the season-ending Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai from Oct 30 to Nov 4.