As temperatures began to heat up at the Credit One Charleston Open on Daniel Island, round of 16 action started the day yesterday with No. 6 seed Victoria Azarenka facing Anna Kalinskaya on Althea Gibson Club Court. Kalinskaya walked away with a two-set victory 6-4, 7-6(5), placing her in the quarterfinals. She will face the No. 2 seed, Ons Jabeur.
Kalinskaya, 11-years Azarenka’s junior, met for the first time in their careers. The youngster was able to best Azarenka in a two-hour tight match.
No. 12 seed Paula Badosa continued her winning ways as she rolled over Diana Shnaider, 6-1, 6-3, in an 82-minute match on Credit One Stadium court to open up Thursday’s round of 16 play at the Credit One Charleston Open.
Badosa had 5 aces on the day winning 83% of her first serve points breaking Shnaider four-times during the match.
Badosa will face No. 1 seed American Jessica Pegula.
No. 2 seed Ons Jabeur bested American Caroline Dolehide 6-3, 7-5 in their first-ever meeting on Thursday afternoon.
In the first set, Jabeur broke out to a 4-1 lead before closing out the first set 6-3. The second set was level until the 11-game before Jabeur broke Dolehide to go up 6-5. She closed out the second set and match holding serve at 7-5.
Jabeur will now face Anna Kalinskaya the quarter final.
After taking the first set 7-5 against Irina Begu, it looked like No. 1 seed Jessica Pegula was lining herself up for a straight set win before the wheels came off after being up 4-0 in the second set.
Begu began to charge back while Pegula’s game went away losing 10-game in a row and the second set 6-4.
Credit One Stadium was watching an upset in the making when Pegula dug in after being down 0-4 in the third set to the 15th seed.
Pegula tied up the match at 4-4, then broke Begu at love before serving out the match 6-4 taking the last eight games in the final set.
Pegula will face No. 12 seed Paula Badosa in a quarterfinal match.
There was no joy in Shelbyville last night as 4 seed Belinda Bencic ended the run of hometown prodigy Shelby Rogers, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.
That’s right, all four seeds made the quarterfinals. What kind of WTA alternate reality are we living in here? That’s the first time that’s happened in Charleston in seventeen years. Seven of the remaining players in the quarters are seeded.
Also of note is that three players in the elite eight fly under the blank white flag of nowhere in particular. And despite all of the talk about Pegula and Jabeur, it seems that the likes of Kalinskaya, Alexandrova and Kasatkina are the lurkers and each of them could win the title here.
Wednesday brought big names in big matches to the Charleston Open on Daniel Island, South Carolina as the top four seeds advanced to the round of 16, something slightly rare on the WTA tour.
First up was Jessica Pegula. She arrived late in Charleston, but made up for lost time as she raced past Anna Blinkova, 6-2, 6-0. You could say that as soon as you blinked, it was “ova”.
Pegula played her first match of the year on clay courts and needed just 64 minutes to advance to the third round. The American broke Blinkova twice in the first set, taking it 6-2.
In an uncontested second set, Blinkova only managed to serve 33% on her first serve and 21% on her second serve.
Top seed Pegula plays Irina Begu today. Begu, the 15 seed, dismissed Sofia Kenin in straights yesterday, 6-1, 6-4.
Two seed Ons Jabeur managed Lesia Tsurenko, 6-3, 6-3, to advance to the R16 and face a matchup with wild card surprise Caroline Dolehide.
3 seed Daria Kasatkina also dominated her opponent yesterday, Madison Brengle, 6-2, 6-1, to set up a match against Bernarda Pera.
Canadian Kathrine Sebov displayed high quality effort this week in Charleston. Yesterday, she was no match for 4 seed and defending champion Belinda Bencic as Bencic cruised, 6-0, 6-2. Bencic moves on to Shelbyville.
And in calling it Shelbyville, I mean the Shelby Seed. The native South Carolinian, with her hometown crowd and familiar conditions always means she’s outperforming on the Charleston green clay. Her desire to win this particular title makes her a de facto seed regardless of current ranking on the tour. She launched a comeback bid after losing the first set to Caty McNally, 7-6(4). Never wanting to go down in her own house, Rogers persevered and found ways to win in a 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-1 victory. Should Bencic be upset by Rogers tonight, Shelbyville would go wild.
12 seed Paula Badosa was slow getting out of the gate in her match with Lelyah Ferdandez, going down a break in the first set before clawing her way back to take the first set 7-5. The second set was close between the two battling the heat and each other on center court.
It ended in a tie-break with Badosa coming out on top 8-6 completing the victory 7-5, 7-6(6). Badosa now owns a 3-0 head-to-head match lead and faces Diana Shnaider next.
And not to be overlooked is the legendary Vika Azarenka. The 33-year-old grand slam champion completed her own impressive comeback against Sloane Stephens on Wednesday, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. She is the most dangerous lurker in the field and should be able to handle Anna Kalinskaya in the round of 16.
Daniel Island, S.C.—After rain forced last night’s prime-time sessions off the court, there was a lot of playing to do at the Credit One Charleston Open in Charleston today. Sofia Kenin and Aliaksandra Sasnovich resumed their aborted match,with Kenin holding a 3-0 third set lead. She quickly capitalized on the lead and made short work of Sasnovich on Stadium court, 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-1. 15 seed Irina Begu awaits Kenin in the next match.
Leylah Fernandez was a force to be reckoned with today on Althea Gibson court and dominated her first round match against Evgeniya Rodina, 6-3, 6-2 in 74 minutes. She’ll face Paula Badosa in round 2, who earlier defeated Mayer Sharif on Stadium court, 6-3, 6-1. Badosa noted that she had a little extra time since being bounced early at the Miami Open. “I had a lot of days from Miami to come here to practice,” Badosa said, half-jokingly. “I really worked very hard. I’m playing well, I think.”
Caty McNally was another straight sets winner today. She enjoyed the pro-American crowd and cruised to a 6-4, 6-1 win over Julie Niemeier of Germany. She’ll meet up with hometown favorite Shelby Rogers on Thursday. Rogers overcame Danielle Collins in three sets, 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-1. No one beats Shelby in the first round on Stadium court in Charleston.
There might be no one as cool and calm in Charleston as Hailey Baptiste right now. The qualifying alternate leaped head first into the final 32 here with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Xiyu Wang on Court 3. Baptiste draws Madison Keys in the second round as Keys was a winner against Emma Navarro, 6-4, 6-3.
Varvara Gracheva eased past Anna Lena Friedsam of Germany today in the first set before taking full control of the match in the second set, 7-6(3), 6-2. Gracheva is always a dangerous threat in the draw and I will pick her to upset Magda Linette in the second round.
Charleston fans were treated to the return of Sabine Lisicki over the weekend in qualifying. Today, her 2023 run ended at the hands of American Caroline Dolehide. Before the rain, the match was scheduled to be played on a packed Stadium court last night, which might have been an advantage for the former Wimbledon finalist. Instead, it was played on a sparsely attended outer court in the middle of the day, a locale that Dolehide knows all too well. Lisicki never found her rhythm, finding herself in early holes in each set. She rallied in each but fell short in both sets and exited the tournament with a 6-4, 6-4 loss to the American. Dolehide will play 17-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova next.
CHARLESTON, S.C. – World No. 5 Jessica Pegula and World No. 8 Paula Badosa have entered the 2023 Credit One Charleston Open, the largest women’s-only tennis tournament in North America. The WTA 500 tournament, which is the annual clay season kickoff event on the WTA Hologic Tour, is set to return April 1 – 9, 2023 in the renovated and modernized Credit One Stadium on Daniel Island in Charleston, South Carolina. Badosa and Pegula join past Charleston champions Belinda Bencic, Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens in the growing player field for next year’s event.
“Having two top 10 players join our field six months before our tournament showcases our dedication to bringing the world’s best competitors to Charleston,” said Bob Moran, Tournament Director of the Credit One Charleston Open and President of Charleston Tennis LLC. “Jessie and Paula have had exceptional 2022 seasons and both are at the top of their game. We are off to a strong start for our 2023 tournament and have more exciting player announcements on the horizon.”
Pegula is currently the only WTA player ranked in the top 10 for both singles and doubles. She reached three Grand Slam singles quarterfinals this season, in Melbourne, Paris and New York, as well as the doubles final in Roland-Garros. In total, she’s had eight quarterfinal or better finishes throughout her 2022 season. In addition to her Grand Slam appearances, she made the finals in Madrid, the semifinals in Miami, Toronto and San Diego and the quarterfinals in Cincinnati.
The American recently qualified for the WTA Finals, the season-ending championships, in both singles and doubles, and is the only player presently competing in dual draws. The 2023 Credit One Charleston Open will be her fifth time appearing in the tournament’s main draw. She was a Charleston doubles quarterfinalist in 2022.
“Charleston is like a second home to me and I can’t wait to be back in April to play the Credit One Charleston Open again,” said Pegula. “I am really proud of the tennis that I’m playing right now and it would be amazing to win a title in a city that holds such a special place in my heart.”
Badosa holds three WTA career singles titles, which includes the 2022 Sydney title and 2021 Belgrade and Indian Wells titles. She was a 2021 Roland-Garros quarterfinalist and has been ranked as high as World No. 2 this season.
In 2022, she was a semifinalist in Stuttgart, San Jose and Indian Wells and a quarterfinalist in Miami, Charleston and San Diego. In addition, she reached the fourth round of Wimbledon and Roland-Garros. The Spaniard will play Charleston for the third time in 2023, where she holds a 6-2 win-loss record.
“Reaching the semifinals in Charleston in 2021 really propelled my career forward,” said Badosa. “I’ve had strong back-to-back seasons and have had great results each year in Charleston. After reaching the semis and quarterfinals, I would love to win there in 2023.”
The nine-day Credit One Charleston Open showcases a singles draw of 56 players, a qualifying draw of 32 players and a doubles draw of 16 players. The event traditionally hosts more than 90,000 attendees on Daniel Island. Additional players who have committed to competing in 2023 will be announced in the coming weeks.
Charleston Tennis, LLC, which manages Credit One Stadium under a lease from the City of Charleston, recently renovated and modernized the 20-year-old facility. The city-owned venue underwent upgrades to enhance the stadium experience for patrons, performers, tennis players and event management, allowing the venue to attract world-class athletes and talent to Daniel Island.
The Credit One Charleston Open celebrated its 50th year in 2022. The tournament has been a pioneer in women’s professional sports since 1973, paving the path for female tennis players to receive equal recognition, respect and pay in the sport. Originally held on Hilton Head Island, the event moved to Charleston in 2001 and is played on Daniel Island at the LTP Daniel Island tennis center, home to the Credit One Stadium.
Tickets for the 2023 tournament will be available on October 27 and can be purchased online at creditonecharlestonopen.com or by calling (843) 856-7900. When purchasing tickets for the 2023 Credit One Charleston Open, patrons will have the option to choose from single session tickets ($25+) and a range of upgraded ticket packages and seat offerings, including the Intro Package ($280), Finale Package ($360), Champions Package ($275) and Tournament Long Package ($600+). Packages provide exclusive and premier views of the court from 100 and 200 level stadium seating, as well as the best value on tickets. In addition, select packages will also offer tennis patrons shaded seating, a new feature as part of the renovated stadium’s Stage House.
About the Credit One Charleston Open: The Credit One Charleston Open is North America’s largest women’s-only tennis tournament. The event, formerly known as the Volvo Car Open, moved to Charleston, S.C., in 2001 from Hilton Head Island, S.C., and celebrated its 50th year in 2022. The Credit One Charleston Open traditionally welcomes more than 90,000 spectators each year. The tournament features a singles draw of 56 players, a qualifying draw of 32 players and a doubles draw of 16 players. In conjunction with Tennis Channel and WTA Media, the Credit One Charleston Open is showcased from the first ball struck in main draw competition to the last ball played in finals, throughout the U.S. and 174 international partners. The tournament receives more than 100 hours of tennis coverage, broadcast live from Charleston across the globe to millions of fans. The tournament is operated by Charleston Tennis, LLC. For more information on the Credit One Charleston Open, visitcreditonecharlestonopen.com, call (843) 856-7900, email email@example.com, Facebook (Credit One Charleston Open), Twitter (@CharlestonOpen) or Instagram (@CreditOneCharlestonOpen).
Semifinals Saturday Arrives at Volvo Car Open with A Surprising Field
In 10 years of covering the WTA Charleston event, I haven’t seen so many upsets over the course of a week. Gone are the days when Serena Williams would come through and pencil in a spot in the final. Even World #1 Ashleigh Barty couldn’t take advantage of the gaping holes in the field as she fell to Paula Badosa yesterday, 6-3, 6-3. A resurgent Sloane Stephens sputtered against Victoria Kudermetova, 6-3, 6-4. After beating #3 seed Petra Kvitova the day before, Danka Kovinic found a way to advance against the plucky and lucky Yulia Putintseva, 6-7(2), 7-5, 6-1. Ons Jabeur (#12) was the highest-seeded player left in the tournament before stunning a sluggish Coco Gauff, 6-3, 6-3.
That sets up four players who have never won a WTA tour level title and yet are this close to taking home the most impressive trophies of their collective careers. If you looked at this field before the tournament began, you’d have plenty of educated guesses on who would hoist the hardware, from Kvitova, Barty, Stephens, Kenin, Muguruza, Keys, Bencic, Mertens or Bertens. But no.
Instead, you’ve got a semifinal field that could pose for a couple of Charleston qualifying finals just a few years back. Still, you’ve got to believe that Ons Jabeur’s experience and momentum will propel her to a berth in the final when she steps on court against Danka Kovinic later today. She’s a deserved -239 favorite, and even though the unimaginable has already happened this week, the green clay dust of uncertainty will certainly settle today.
The match between Badosa and Kudermetova is a little more unpredictable.
Although the Russian owns a 2-0 head to head against Badosa, the lower-ranked Spaniard has beaten the better players this week and is the tournament’s leader in aces with 24. It’s also Kudermetova’s first semifinal on clay. I’m going with Badosa, a +110 underdog in this match.
The parlay: Jabeur (-239) & Badosa (+110) for a +197 payout