No top ten players but a big star like Maria Sharapova will compete in the Shenzhen Open, China, from December 30, 2018, to January 5 2019. The Russian will be back to compete for the first time since the US Open fourth round loss to Carla Suarez Navarro.
Sharapova skipped Beijing and Tianjin, plus her hometown tournament in Moscow, to recover from several physical issues and in Shenzhen, she is set to make her second appearance in a row after that in past January she lost to Katerina Siniakova.
The Czech, who won 2017 title, would then lose to the world No. 1 Simona Halep in the final. Halep, who won 2015 crown as well, did not commit to playing, she is currently trying to recover from a back injury and will be back to practice only in December.
In Shenzhen also Jelena Ostapenko, who had a disappointing 2018, Aryna Sabalenka and Caroline Garcia will play. The world No. 90 Zarina Diyas is the last to make it in the main draw. Meanwhile, the Auckland tournament director Karl Budge commented on Venus Williams's appearance: 'It’s great to have Venus back.
She has been a special part of this tournament for a number of years and we missed her this year. She is still at the top of the game and how good would it be if she could capture career title number 50 here in Auckland.' ASB Head of Sponsorship Mark Graham added: “Having Venus as our first confirmed player is an exciting start to the tournament and just the beginning of another stellar line-up.
The ASB Classic continues to attract some of the world’s top tennis players, and we look forward to seeing it take shape in the coming months as further player announcements are made. We’re looking forward to a fantastic two weeks of tennis in Auckland over the summer.'
1. SABALENKA, ARYNA (BLR) 11
2. GARCIA, CAROLINE (FRA) 19
3. WANG, QIANG (CHN) 20
4. OSTAPENKO, JELENA (LAT) 22
5. BACSINSZKY, TIMEA (SUI) 23
6. SHARAPOVA, MARIA (RUS) - 29
7. ZHANG, SHUAI (CHN) 38
8. ZHENG, SAISAl (CHN) -40
9. PAVLYUCHENKOVA, ANASTASIA (RUS) - 42
10. PARMENTIER, PAULINE (FRA) - 56
11. JABEUR, ONS (TUN) - 61
12. RISKE, ALISON (USA)- 63
13. KUMKHUM, LUKSIKA (THA)-66
14. BEGU, IRINA-CAMELIA (ROU) 67
15. JAKUPOVIC, DALILA (SLO) - 70
16. WANG, YAFAN (CHN) -71
17. ALEXANDROVA, EKATERINA (RUS) - 72
18. MARIA, TATJANA (GER) - 74
19. RODINA, EVGENIYA (RUS) -75
20. BOGDAN, ANA (ROU) - 78
21. SCHMIEDLOVA, ANNA KAROLINA (SVK) - 79
22. LINETTE, MAGDA (POL)- 81
23. CIRSTEA, SORANA (ROU) 83
24. DIYAS, ZARINA (KAZ) - 90