Sloane Stephens set to return to action at Wuhan Open in first match since US Open triumph

Sport360 staff 21:02 22/09/2017
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Stephens lifts the US Open trophy aloft in Central Park.

Newly-crowned US Open champion Sloane Stephens will take on Qiang Wang of China in the first round of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open in what will be the American’s first competitive match since lifting the trophy at Flushing Meadows earlier this month.

Stephens has not played since winning her home Grand Slam.

The 24-year-old arrived in Wuhan on Friday and will play her opening match on either Sunday or Monday at the US$2,666,000 WTA Premier 5 event.

Friday’s official draw pitched defending Wuhan Open champion Petra Kvitova against China’s Shuai Peng in a match which could split the loyalties of local tennis fans in Wuhan. Kvitova, who also won the tournament in its inaugural year in 2014, is a huge favourite at the Optics Valley International Tennis Centre.

Elsewhere in the draw, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova takes on Alize Cornet; ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska is up against Wimbledon semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova and China’s home hope Shuai Zhang takes on talented Croatian Donna Vekic.

In a battle of the young guns of women’s tennis, American Catherine Bellis takes on Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, with the winner to play fifth seed Johanna Konta in round two. Konta, as one of the top eight seeds, receives a bye into round two.

Madison Keys, who Stephens beat in an all-American final in New York, will face a qualifier in her opening match.

World No.1 Garbine Muguruza is top seed in Wuhan.

Phase 1.

A post shared by Sloane Stephens (@sloanestephens) on

22-30 September, 2017

Women’s Singles
First Round

[1] G. Muguruza (ESP) – Bye

C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs. L. Tsurenko (UKR)

Qualifier vs. A. Kontaveit (EST)

K. Siniakova (CZE) vs. [13] K. Mladenovic (FRA)

[11] P. Kvitova (CZE) vs. S. Peng (CHN)

Qualifier vs. M. Barthel (GER)

Qualifier vs. B. Strycova (CZE)

[8] J. Ostapenko (LAT) – Bye

[3] K. Pliskova (CZE) – Bye

S. Zhang (CHN) vs. D. Vekic (CRO)

[WC] Y. Wang (CHN) vs. S. Cirstea (ROU)

Q. Wang (CHN) vs. [14] S. Stephens (USA)

[9] A. Radwanska (POL) vs. M. Rybarikova (SVK)

D. Gavrilova (AUS) vs. J. Goerges (GER)

C. Bellis (USA) vs. A. Barty (AUS)

[5] J. Konta (GBR) – Bye

[6] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) – Bye

A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs. A. Cornet (FRA)

K. Bertens (NED) vs. Qualifier

Qualifier vs. [10] M. Keys (USA)

[16] E. Vesnina (RUS) vs. [WC] Y. Duan (CHN)

E. Mertens (BEL) vs. N. Osaka (JPN)

Qualifier vs. Y. Putintseva (KAZ)

[4] C. Wozniacki (DEN) – Bye

[7] D. Cibulkova (SVK) – Bye

S. Stosur (AUS) vs. [WC] J. Teichmann (SUI)

Qualifier vs. R. Vinci (ITA)

C. Garcia (FRA) vs. [12] A. Kerber (GER)

[15] A. Sevastova (LAT) vs. E. Makarova (RUS)

Qualifier vs. L. Davis (USA)

D. Kasatkina (RUS) vs. A. Riske (USA)

[2] S. Halep (ROU) – Bye

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