Daniel Island, S.C.–Alternate Hailey Baptiste qualified for the main draw of the Charleston Open yesterday after winning back-to-back matches in 24 hours. Baptiste was placed in the qualifying field on Saturday morning after Taylor Townsend withdrew from the Charleston tournament to pursue a doubles title in Miami.
Paula Ormaechea is a familiar face in Charleston qualifying and the fans admire her verbal expressiveness. They witnessed peak Paula on Sunday, as the Argentinian needed three sets to eke out a win over the talented Magdalena Frech. Her reward for the weekend slog is a first round matchup against Lesia Tsurenko, a 6-1 favorite to win today.
Sabine Lisicki, after a commanding win on Saturday, found things more dramatic and unsteady in the qualifying final. After taking a 5-2 lead over Katarzyna Kawa, she lost the first set, 6-7(1) and looked out of sorts, plaintively looking at her parents in the stands. She recovered in time to win the second tie break, 7-6(1) before pulling away in the third set, 6-3, to qualify for the main draw for a first rounder against American Caroline Dolehide.
Qualifiers Kayla Day and Sachia Vickery both won yesterday and will face each other today. Louisa Chirico was yesterday’s first qualifier, running over Elvina Kalieva, 6-4, 6-1. She opens up her main draw campaign against Sloane Stephens. Katherine Sebov continued her red-hot 2023 campaign by beating Francesca Di Lorenzo, 6-4, 6-2, and will play Lauren Davis today on Stadium court.
There are always a few upsets in the first round of any tournament. Today, I like underdogs Linda Fruhvirtova (+160) besting Jill Teichmann, and Sebov (+155) surprising Lauren Davis. I’m also going to go out on a limb and predict Sasnovich (+145) upsets Kenin. At +582, it’s hard to predict Ormaechea over Tsurenko, but if she has anything left in the tank today, an Ormaechea win wouldn’t be as shocking as the odds suggest. Sports gambling is illegal in South Carolina, so please keep it down over there.