Qualifications begin for 2019 Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai
Created: 2019-10-10 11:39:07
ZHUHAI, CHINA – The WTA and the Committee of WTA Elite Trophy announced on Wednesday that Aryna Sabalenka, Johanna Konta, Madison Keys, Petra Martic and Sofia Kenin have qualified for the 2019 Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai.

Both Martic and Kenin will be making their debut appearances in Zhuhai this year, while Sabalenka and Konta are returning for their second visit, and Keys is competing for the third time in her career at the Hengqin Tennis Center.

The top-ranked British female, Johanna Konta, has earned her place at the Elite Trophy after producing a rebound 2019 season which saw her surge back into the Top 20. Konta reached the semifinals at Roland Garros, helping her become just the 13th active player to reach the final four at three different majors. She also advanced to the quarterfinal stage at both Wimbledon and New York.

Ranked No.16 this week, the two-time Wuhan Open champion Aryna Sabalenka will return to Zhuhai for the second consecutive year. The Belarusian made her Zhuhai debut in 2018 but failed to advance to the singles semifinal stage.

Madison Keys, a stalwart at the top of the women’s game, captured her first career Premier 5 title at Cincinnati this season after hoisting her first career clay court title at Charleston earlier in the year. The American is making her third trip to Zhuhai (also 2015 and 2018) and aiming to hoist this elusive title for the first time.

The 2019 season has proved to be a breakthrough campaign for rising American star Sofia Kenin. The 20-year-old has already lifted three WTA singles titles in addition to reaching four finals. Kenin began the Asian swing by competing in the new tournament Zhengzhou Open, and won her third title of the year at the Guangzhou Open, defeating 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur in the final, with her ranking climbing to a career-high of No.17.

After reaching her first major quarterfinal at the 2019 Roland Garros, Croatian tennis star Petra Martic carried her momentum into the start of the Asian Swing. She reached her first premier-level final at Zhengzhou, though beaten by Karolina Pliskova. 
It is the fifth edition of the tournament and the celebration of its fifth anniversary. With a total prize money of 2.42 million US dollars this year, the WTA Elite Trophy will be held from 22nd to 27th October, and it will be the first time for the tournament to be held before the WTA Finals. More players will be announced in the upcoming days, and the complete player field will be released soon.
22-time Grand Slam winner and Golden Slam achiever Stefanie Graf, will continue as the tournament global ambassador for the fourth consecutive year and yet again have an on-site presence throughout the event.