It was a breakthrough year for Alison Riske at the age of 29 as she reached a new career-high ranking, established herself as one of the most dangerous players on the tour and broke new grounds at the Grand Slams by recording her best performance at a Major this year. Entering the top-20 for the first time in her career, the American is rewarded with a debut appearance at the WTA Elite Trophy, the perfect chance for her to end the season on a high note.
Riske started the year in the best possible way, reaching the final in Shenzhen although she had to wait until the grass-court season for another quarterfinal result. The American impressed with her game on grass, clinching an ITF 100k title and stunning Bertens in the final of the Rosmalen Grass Court Tennis Championships.
A fantastic run to the Wimbledon quarterfinals followed and Riske’s best result recently was reaching the Wuhan final, the biggest final of her career. Heading into Zhuhai full of confidence and momentum, Riske will be a dark horse to lift the title.
Other qualified players include Madison Keys, Aryna Sabalenka, Petra Martic, Sofia Kenin, Donna Vekic and Elise Mertens. 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.