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Best in the world are on tap for China Open

Updated: 2012-08-25 10:27
By Sun Xiaochen ( China Daily)

It's one of the few places you can see such a stellar field outside the Grand Slams.

A cast featuring Grand Slam winners and former world No 1s is scheduled to play at this year's China Open during the National Day holiday.

The WTA and ATP combined tournament is expected to attract all the available top 47 women players and most of the top 35 men, fighting for $7,033,050 in total prize money at the National Tennis Center from Oct 1-7.

As the last Premier mandatory event on the WTA calendar, the tournament boasts a strong field on the women's side, featuring London Olympic champion Serena Williams from the United States, current world No 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, French Open champion Maria Sharapova and local favorite Li Na.

Li, ranked ninth in the world, will be looking to keep up her momentum after finishing first and second in events in Montreal and Cincinnati leading up to next week's US Open.

She recently hired Argentine coach Carlos Rodriguez.

"I am really looking forward to this year's China Open," Li said recently. "Last year the expectations were pretty high, but I didn't do well enough.

"Now, I have regained my confidence and my form is red-hot. And I have my new coach's support. I think I can do better this year."

Other confirmed entries include Polish defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska, former Danish world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki and Serbia's Anna Ivanovic.

China's Olympic pair Zheng Jie and Peng Shuai are entered in the singles draw.

Awarding 1,000 ranking points to the champion, the event has attracted eight former world No 1 aces and 10 Grand Slam winners on the 64-strong women's side.

The men's draw has some star power as well.

Half the top 10 players including Serbian Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, Spanish great Rafael Nadal, his compatriot David Ferrer and French world No 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will battle for 500 ATP ranking points in the 32-seed singles draw.