Draw released for 2019 WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai
Created: 2019-10-22 10:21:41
ZHUHAI, China - A new champion is guaranteed for the fifth edition of the Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, and the 12 qualifying players were placed in four round robin groups in Monday's draw ceremony. 

Headlined by World No.10 Kiki Bertens, and two former Top 10 players in Madison Keys and Aryna Sabalenka, the dozen competitors were drawn into one of four flower-themed groups: Azaela, Camellia, Orchid and Rose, with Maria Sakkari and Zheng Saisai on hand for the ceremony.

Bertens, who along with Keys, Sabalenka, Elise Mertens and wildcard Zheng, are the only players in the field to have competed in singles in Zhuhai before, headlines the Azaela Group, along with No.8 seed Donna Vekic and No.10 seed Dayana Yastremska. 

"It's really nice to be here with all the girls and try to finish the season strong, everyone. It's just another opportunity for everyone. It's just the last week and everyone just wants to try and finish as good," Bertens told the media at All-Access Hour on Monday.

"You for sure have two matches, which makes it fun I think also. Let's see what everyone still can bring and hopefully we can play some good matches.

"I played Donna a few times this year and [she's a] great player, of course, and same with Dayana. It's going to be really tough, I think two really tough matches but I'll just going to try and finish the season as good as I can and then we see."

Donna Vekic and Elise Mertens, Zhuhai 2019 (©Jimmie48/WTA)
Donna Vekic and Elise Mertens pose with the tournament mascots. (©Jimmie48/WTA)

Two countries boast multiple qualifiers, with trio of Americans featuring in the four groups.

Keys, the No.3 seed, is joined by No.2 seed Sofia Kenin and No.7 seed Alison Riske, who were both drawn into the Camellia Group. 

They are placed there by No.11 seed Karolina Muchova, winner of the Seoul Open, who saw her spot confirmed by virtue of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova's defeat to Belinda Bencic in the final of the VTB Kremlin Cup

Croatia also boasts two representiatives, with Vekic being joined by No.5 seed Petra Martic, who landed with Keys in the Orchid Group.

The field is rounded out by Chinese No.2 Zheng, the San Jose champion. The 25-year-old home favorite won her first title at the Premier event during the US Open Series this summer beating Sabalenka in the final, and rounds out the Orchid group. 

"In San Jose, I actually played three players who are also going to be here and that definitely gives me confidence and the most importantly I've been improving myself along the way," Zheng, who was also a wildcard in her first appearance in 2015, said. 

"In Zhuhai in 2015 was the first session here and at the time I was just up on the journey as a professional player. I have come a long way. My performance is much better than before in 2015, but I've been through a lot of things like injuries and surgeries and so I feel a lot in this journey.

"No one is an easy player, so every match is going to be a tough match. It's really depending upon how you put it out on the court and that will make the difference as far as a win or a loss. I'm looking forward to all the challenges."

Zheng Saisai and Madison Keys, Zhuhai 2019 (©Jimmie48/WTA)
Zheng and Keys participated in a pre-tournament event at Lionsgate Studio. (©Jimmie48/WTA)

The four groups can be seen in full below.

Azalea Group
No.1 Kiki BERTENS (NED)
No.8 Donna VEKIC (CRO)
No.10 Dayana YASTREMSKA (UKR)

Zhuhai 2019 Azalea

Camellia Group
No.2 Sofia KENIN (USA)
No.7 Alison RISKE (USA)
No.11 Karolina MUCHOVA (CZE)

Zhuhai 2019 Camellia

Orchid Group
No.3 Madison KEYS (USA)
No.5 Petra MARTIC (CRO)
WC ZHENG Saisai (CHN)

Zhuhai 2019 Orchid

Rose Group
No.4 Aryna SABALENKA (BLR)
No.6 Elise MERTENS (BEL)
No.9 Maria SAKKARI (GRE)

Zhuhai 2019 Rose

Play begins in Zhuhai on Tuesday. 

CR: WTA