WTA (Women's Tennis Association)

US Open champion Sloane Stephens to compete in WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai after Hong Kong withdrawal

The US Open champion was forced to withdraw from the Hong Kong Open two weeks ago with an injury

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 October, 2017, 12:51pm
UPDATED : Friday, 20 October, 2017, 1:44pm

US Open champion Sloane Stephens completed a swift recovery and was able to declare herself fit to compete at the end-of-season WTA Elite Trophy event in Zhuhai, China on Friday, two weeks after withdrawing from contention at the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open citing a knee injury.

“I’m excited to be coming to Zhuhai,” said Stephens. “Qualifying for an elite year-end event is a great reward at the end of what has been an incredible year for me.

“I can’t wait to compete hard against those other great players and try to end this season on a high.”

Stephens became the highest-profile name on a list of players who pulled out of the Hong Kong Open in the days leading up to the event.

Earlier this week, France’s Kristina Mladenovic, who also withdrew from the Hong Kong event with injury following a defeat in Beijing, revealed that she too had recovered sufficiently enough to compete in Zhuhai.

This year’s Hong Kong Open was beset by a spate of withdrawals, including two of the top seeds, Elina Svitolina and Caroline Wozniacki, shortly before they were scheduled to play their second round matches at Victoria Park.

Double whammy leaves Hong Kong tennis fans wondering what will be served up in future

All four have recovered well enough to take their places at the lucrative end-of-season events in Singapore and Zhuhai.

The Hong Kong Open was eventually won by Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova after a marathon, rain-affected final against Australia’s Dari Gavrilova last Sunday.

WATCH: Daria Gavrilova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova entertain themselves during a Hong Kong Tennis Open final rain suspension

Both players then moved on to compete at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow. Pavlyuchenkova was beaten in the first round, while Gavrilova made it to the second round before retiring injured.

Pavlyuchenkova is also set to play in Zhuhai.