Serena and Andy headline galaxy of stars in Beijing

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Serena Williams of the United States celebrates during the women's quarterfinal match against Karolina Pliskova of the Cezch Republic at the 2018 US Open tennis championships in New York, the United States, Sept. 4, 2018. Williams won 2-0. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

A glittering lineup featuring 11 Grand Slam champions will grace Beijing over the National Day holidays for the 16th edition of the China Open.

Asia's premier combined tennis event has again assembled a star-studded cast, with 23-time major winner Serena Williams of the United States and Japan's current world No 1 Naomi Osaka leading a stellar women's field that includes 10 Grand Slam winners.

British star Andy Murray will continue his return to singles action against a crop of the game's most exciting young guns.

The tournament will run from Sept 22-Oct 6 at the National Tennis Center in north Beijing, with total prize money of over $10 million up for grabs.

As one of only four WTA Premier Mandatory events, the outdoor hardcourt tournament never fails to attract the cream of the women's game, with 1,000 ranking points and qualification for the year-end WTA Finals awarded to the winner in the 64-spot singles main draw.

With 44 of the world's top 47-ranked women automatically qualified, the draw also features this year's French Open winner Ashleigh Barty of Australia, Romania's Wimbledon champion Simona Halep and defending China Open champion Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.

Of all the 47 confirmed entries, nine have held the world No 1 ranking spot.

World No 18 Wang Qiang, Zhang Shuai (34th) and Zheng Saisai (37th) will carry home hopes as all three continue to close the gap to the world's best.

Wang, who cracked the top 20 for the first time following a semifinal run at last year's Open, has set her sights on gaining a similar late-season boost in Beijing, while Zheng expects to maintain a winning momentum at home inspired by her first WTA singles victory at San Jose, California, last month.

On the men's side, the return of 2016 champion Murray, who was almost forced to retire after the Australian Open due to a nagging hip injury, is arguably the main attraction of the ATP 500 event.

The Scot, whose fitness woes have seen him plummet to world No 329, entered the 32-player draw in Beijing through protected ranking and will be looking to level up his movement and sharpness after only returning to singles action in Cincinnati, Ohio, earlier this month.

Murray has won 45 singles titles, including three Grand Slams (2012 US Open, 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon), as well as two Olympic gold medals (2012 and 2016).

Even without the three giants of the men's game-Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic-committed to the tournament, the men's draw still includes six of the world's top 10, including Austrian two-time Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem, German ace Alexander Zverev, Russia's rising star Daniil Medvedev (fresh from his victory in Cincinnati), and Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece.

Tickets for the 2019 China Open are now available via the tournament's official website,, and various other certified outlets.

Tickets for the finals, scheduled for Oct 6, are available at a 20 percent discount.

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