Li Na (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
The brand new Premier level event in China received a big boost when it was announced that World Nos. 1 and 2 Serena Williams and Li Na are committed to the debut event, along with French Open champion Maria Sharapova.
Li, who started her season with a win on home soil at Shenzhen before going on to win the Australian Open, will be playing a WTA event in her hometown for the first time.
"I'm so proud that my city is staging such a prestigious tournament," Li said. "I'm very excited about being part of such a strong field of players and I can't wait to play in front of my home crowd."
Reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova completes the current line-up of Grand Slam champions and with the tournament taking place as part of the WTA’s continued focus on Asia, it is likely that the Premier field will contain the eventual US Open champion.
Maiden Grand Slam finalists this year Simona Halep and Eugenie Bouchard are also named in the player line-up, along with 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska and former World No. 1s Jelena Jankovic and Victoria Azarenka committed to appear.
The Wuhan Open is replacing the Tokyo Open as the only Premier 5 level tournament in Asia, and along with the Premier mandatory China Open in Beijing, it gives China a four week tennis season across both the ATP and WTA tours.
The Dongfeng Motor Wugan Open will take place the week of September 21 at the Optics Valley International Tennis Centre, and will be a crucial part of the WTA’s continuing Road to Singapore as the WTA elite fight for a place in the season finale.