Petra Kvitova, Ons Jabeur, and Sorana Cirstea are among the top names set to feature at the Ningbo Open — which returns to the WTA Tour after a gap of nine years for its sixth edition.
Looking to make a statement return, the tournament organisers are pulling out all stops to make players feel at home. A dinner party where the players wore traditional Hanfu clothing has fans in awe as the stars dazzled in the elegant silk gowns.
Social media has been flooded with pictures of Petra Kvitova donning a blue gown at the tournament dinner. Ons Jabeur, meanwhile, could be seen in an equally stunning red dress.
Sorana Cirstea, meanwhile, also took to social media to share some behind-the-scenes pictures. The Romanian, who was wearing a lilac-coloured gown, posed with a traditional Chinese fan in one of the pictures.
Cirstea also shared the frame with Jabeur — whom she referred to as "the minister of happiness" — in another picture. She also thanked the tournament director for hosting the dinner party in a separate post.
Petra Kvitova, Ons Jabeur, Sorana Cirstea lead the field at Ningbo Open
Petra Kvitova was to lead the field at this year's Ningbo Open as per the original entry list. Ons Jabeur, however, took a last-minute entry into the singles draw and is now seeded No. 1.
The Tunisian will open her campaign with a first-round encounter against Frenchwoman Diane Parry, with the likes of Katie Boulter and Clara Tauson also in her section of the draw.
Also in the top half is third seed Sorana Cirstea, who plays American Claire Liu in her opening match at the tournament. She is likely to run into fifth seed Varvara Gracheva in the quarterfinals.
Petra Kvitova anchors the bottom half by virtue of being the second seed. She will take on qualifier Anna-Lena Friedsam in her first match, with the potential of facing seasoned campaigners Yulia Putintseva or Daria Saville next. Kvitova's projected quarterfinal opponent is sixth seed Arantxa Rus.
As for the other seeds in the bottom half, Lucia Bronzetti and Anna Blinkova find themselves on a collision course. While the former will need to be wary of home hope Yue Yuan, the latter will need to watch out for Linda Fruhvirtova and Rebeka Masarova early.
Prior to this year, Ningbo Open was never previously a part of the main WTA Tour and only featured as a WTA 125K tournament. Main draw action begins Monday (September 25).