Alison Riske has twice finished runner-up at Shenzhen. She lost in the final to Katerina Siniakova in 2017 and Agnieszka Radwanska in 2016.
Maria Sharapova also lost to Siniakova in the semifinals of last year’s tournament. However, China has proved a happy hunting ground for the former WTA World No.1 with her most recent title coming at the 2017 Tianjin Open when she beat Aryna Sabalenka, 7-5, 7-6 in the final. That is their only previous meeting.
Sabalenka reached the quarterfinals here last season, losing to Simona Halep, as a prelude to a breakthrough year which saw her claim WTA titles in Connecticut and Wuhan.
Read more: Sharapova wins title in Tianjin