WUHAN, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova said Wednesday she would return to the Wuhan Open this year to defend her title.
Kvitova, who lifted the trophy in Wuhan in 2014 and 2016, is the first of many high-profile players set to sign up to the 2.66-million-U.S. dollar WTA Premier 5 tournament held at the Wuhan Optics Valley International Tennis Center. Wuhan is Li Na's hometown.
"Wuhan is one of my favourite tournaments and I've played some of my best tennis there," the organizers of the Wuhan Open quoted Kvitova as saying. "I feel a very special bond with everyone there and with all the fans in China. I'm so excited about coming back to defend my title."
"Ever since she won the inaugural title here in Wuhan in 2014, Petra has been a big favorite with the crowds here and with everyone involved in the tournament," said Wuhan Open Co-Tournament Director Fabrice Chouquet.
"We are so thrilled to see her back on Tour and playing so well and even happier that she will be coming back to Wuhan. We are all looking forward to seeing her," he added.
In December last year, Kvitova suffered career-threatening hand injuries during an attack at her home in Czech Republic. Having staged a remarkable recovery, she returned to the Tour at Roland Garros and won the Aegon Classic Birmingham WTA Premier title.
The victory on grass means Kvitova will head into Wimbledon Championships next week as one of the contenders for the title.
The Wuhan Open made its debut in the 2014 season and is the second largest women's tennis tournament in East Asia, after the China Open in Beijing. This year's tournament runs from September 22 till 30.