I wonder why Laura is still in China. Wouldn't it be preferable to play in Australia, Auckland or Brisbane?
All the best for 2013.
Three potential reasons:
1) Money: Shenzhen is a 500K event, not a 235K. It makes some financial sense to go there instead.
2) Nostalgia: Asia is where she had her best run to date in Guangzhou. She might feel that the court in Shenzhen favours her more than the Aussie courts.
3) Weaker draw: The cutoff to get into Shenzhen is 102, Auckland's is in the 70s and Brisbane is a premier where most of the top 10 is playing.
Essentially, Shenzhen is where she has the greatest chance of seeing the best possible return on the investment of flying out there.
Not to be for Laura in Shenzhen this year, too many unforced errors and she couldn't really get in a rhythm. She didn't return very well and Niculescu played smartly, keeping in the rallies with patience. Ah well, on to Hobart. 6-2 6-4