American youngster Sloane Stephens has officially withdrawn from the inaugural Wuhan Open next week citing a wrist injury she suffered during a training session.
Stephens will be replaced by fellow American Christina McHale, who was scheduled to play in the qualifying draw starting today, in the main draw.
It has been a mostly forgettable year for Stephens. Since losing in the first round of the Wimbledon Championships to Maria Kirilenko, she began her hard court season with a loss to Christina McHale in Washington, before rebounding with slightly better showings in Montreal and Cincinnati, where she reached the second and third round respectively. She has accumulated a 3-3 record during the US Open Series and then lost her second round match at the US Open to Sweden’s Johanna Larsson.
The Wuhan Open is set to feature some tantalizing match-ups and seeded competitors, as Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, Victoria Azarenka and many others are scheduled to compete at the event next week. The qualifying draw features notable competitors as well, including British No. 1 Heather Watson, former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, Karin Knapp, Australian Jarmila Gajdosova and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who is making her comeback from injuries after months on the sidelines.