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Announcement: Sunday, 5 March 2017 matches start at 5.30pm.

Gettyimages 505435796 wangqiang

Ranked fourth in China and 78 in world ranking will be making her sixth appearance.

Wang Qiang is among the 10 most beautiful athletes in China but the recognition has not shifted her focus from tennis.

The World No 78 is ranked only fourth in China in women’s tennis but she grabs more attention than others for her beauty and grace.

Like any other upcoming China tennis players, Wang Qiang’s idolises Li Na and she hopes to emulate the former World No 2, who retired in 2014, one day.

“My goal for this year is to break into the top 30. I have set a high target for myself but if I can accomplish 60 percent of that, it will still be progress,” Wang Qiang told recently.

Having started playing tennis at the age of nine, the 25-year-old first officially began touring under the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in 2007 and has 12 singles and a doubles title under her belt.

Her most impressive win to date was in 2013, when the then 184th-ranked player knocked out top seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the first round of the ALYA WTA Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur

Coached by Peter McNamara, the Tianjin-born will be making her sixth ALYA Malaysian Open appearance at TPC Kuala Lumpur from February 27th to March 5th.

Her best result in the ALYA Malaysian Open was reaching the quarter-finals in 2016.

In 2013, Wang Qiang successfully negotiated two qualifying rounds before grabbing unexpected headlines by overcoming Wozniacki 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-1 in the first round main draw match but she failed to play to form in the last 16, losing to Austria’s Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 6-3, 6-2.

She also made the last 16 on her debut in 2012 and also 2014 but was a first round casualty in 2015.

Wang Qiang, who achieved her career high ranking of World No 61 in August, 2016, is highly regarded on the WTA Tour but she has underachieved so far due to inconsistency.

This year, the China player reached the quarter-finals in Shenzhen but exited in the first round of the Australian Open.

In Kuala Lumpur, Wang Qiang hopes to go beyond the quarter-finals for the first time in a WTA tour event.

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