WTA Shenzhen: Three top ten stars set to be in action

Former champions Agnieszka Radwanska and Simona Halep, as well as Johanna Konta, have all been confirmed for the tournament.

WTA Shenzhen: Three top ten stars set to be in action
Agnieszka Radwanska poses with the trophy after beating Alison Riske in 2015 | Getty Images/ Zhong Zhi

Defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska will be looking to regain her title at the Shenzhen Open in January, though could face stiff competition from the likes of 2015 champion Simona Halep, and one of the breakthrough stars of 2016 in Johanna Konta.

Held in the opening week of the 2017 WTA Tour, all three will be looking to get off to a strong start as they build up towards the Australian Open just two weeks later.

Former champions Radwanska and Halep in action

Despite being a relatively small tournament, big names have always played in Shenzhen and it will be no different next year with two former champions, and two past Grand Slam finalists, set to be in action in the form of Radwanska and Halep.

Radwanska was the top seed last year and cruised to the title without dropping a set, beating the likes of Anna-Lena Friedsam before beating Alison Riske in the final; after another solid season, the Pole will be looking to defend her title and get off to a similar start to 2017 as she did this year.

Simona Halep poses with the title after defeating Timea Bacsinszky in the 2015 final in Shenzhen (AFP/STR)
Simona Halep poses with the title after defeating Timea Bacsinszky in the 2015 final in Shenzhen (AFP/STR)

Meanwhile, Halep is returning to Shenzhen after choosing to play in Brisbane last year. The Romanian will be looking to regain the title she won in 2015, where she beat Timea Bacsinszky in the final but will be aiming to get off to a much better start to the season than she did last year.

Konta looks to backup breakthrough 2016

Not many players had a more phenomenal 2016 than Konta, who rose from just inside the top 50 to breaking the top ten, and the pressure will be on for her to cement her place near the top of the game.

Johanna Konta at a press conference after her semifinal loss to Angelique Kerber at the Australian Open (Getty/Darrian Traynor)
Johanna Konta at a press conference at the Australian Open (Getty/Darrian Traynor)

The Brit lost in the first round of the tournament last year to Qiang Wang and will be looking to improve on that result to add more points to her ranking, as well as to prepare herself for the Australian Open, where she is defending semifinal points.