Watch List: Asian swing kicks off in Wuhan, Shenzhen, Kuala Lumpur
The Watch List spotlights the must-know storylines for the upcoming week in tennis. This week, many of the WTA's top 10 are in Wuhan, China, while the ATP is in action in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Shenzhen, China, as the three week, five-tournament Asian circuit kicks off.
Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open (Wuhan, China)
In its second year on the WTA calendar, the Premier-level Wuhan Open got off to an action-packed start on Monday, as seven of the top 10 players were in the draw. After being sidelined for nearly three months, No. 2 seed and wildcard Maria Sharapova retired midway through the final set vs. Barbora Strycova on Monday, citing an arm injury. Sharapova was up a set and a break when she called for a trainer to look at her right forearm. The retirement puts Strycova into the second round, where she will face either CoCo Vandeweghe or Caroline Garcia, who defeated Lesia Tsurenko and Sara Errani, respectively, in the opening rounds.
Also in the draw are Simona Halep, defending champion Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki, Garbine Muguruza, Angelique Kerber, Carla Suarez Navarro, Karolina Pliskova, Ana Ivanovic, Belinda Bencic, Madison Keys and Roberta Vinci. Halep will open up against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Kvitova will start her title defense against Daria Gavrilova. In the first round on Monday, Venus Williams topped Agnieszka Radwanska, Caroline Garcia beat Sara Errani, Keys defeated Magdalena Rybarikova, Sloane Stephens beat fellow American Alison Riske and Johanna Konta defeated Andrea Petkovic in the opening round. On Tuesday, Konta will face Victoria Azarenka in the second round, Ivanovic plays Madison Brengle, Stephens faces Garbina Muguruza and Wozniacki will play Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
Tashkent Open (Tashkent, Uzbekistan)
There are no top 40 players in action in Tashkent, but Annika Beck is the top seed in the International-level tournament. The World No. 43 is joined by Carina Witthoeft, Polona Hercog, Johanna Larsson, Katerina Siniakova, Margarita Gasparyan, Jelena Ostapenko and Andreea Mitu. After falling to Jelena Jankovic in the Guangzhou Open on Saturday, Denisa Allertova withdrew from the tournament citing an abdominal strain and was replaced in the draw by lucky loser Petra Martic.
Malaysian Open (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
David Ferrer tops the field in Kuala Lumpur and is returning to action following Davis Cup matches in Denmark last weekend. Rounding out the seeds with first-round byes are Feliciano Lopez, wild card Ivo Karlovic and Grigor Dimitrov. Viktor Troicki, Jeremy Chardy, Nick Kyrgios and Vasek Pospisil are also in action in Kuala Lumpur, as well as Alexander Zverev, Nicolas Almagro and Marcos Baghdatis. On Monday, Kyrgios topped Santiago Giraldo and Benjamin Becker defeated Sam Groth to advance to the second round. Chardy will open against Zverev, Almagro will play Baghdatis and Pospisil starts off against Japanese qualifier Yasutaka Uchiyama.
Shenzhen Open (Shenzhen, China)
Top seed and World No. 5 Tomas Berdych leads the field in Shenzhen and he'll start off against American Austin Krajicek, who rallied to beat James Duckworth in the first round on Monday. Marin Cilic, Tommy Robredo and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez round out the top four seeds, with Adrian Mannarino, Jiri Vesley, Ajaz Bedene and Victor Estrella Burgos also in the field. Korea's Hyeon Chung is also in action and the 19-year-old will open against a Chinese wildcard in his tournament debut. In last year’s inaugural final Andy Murray beat Tommy Robredo.