Another solid season from Elise Mertens was rewarded with a place at the WTA Elite Trophy as she successfully qualified for Zhuhai for the second successive year. The Belgian, though not living up to her expectations, maintained her place in the top-20 for the majority of the year and will look to better her round-robin result from last year.
Mertens lifted the biggest title of her career at the Qatar Total Open, stunning three top-10 players en route the Premier trophy. She had to wait until April for her next quarterfinal appearance as the Belgian was forced to endure through a tough stretch of results. Mertens regained momentum with a quarterfinal run at the US Open before making the semifinals in Osaka.
Although she enters Zhuhai with some poor results recently, the world number 18 will be one of the most dangerous players with her solid game on the fast hard courts at the Hengqin International Tennis Centre.
Other qualified players include Madison Keys, Aryna Sabalenka, Petra Martic, Sofia Kenin, Donna Vekic and Alison Riske. Players who withdrew from the event included Johanna Konta, who is nursing a knee injury since the US Open, Angelique Kerber, who announced that she will end her season after withdrawing from Luxembourg, and Marketa Vondrousova, who is currently recovering from a wrist surgery.