Barty, Kenin, Bertens, and Gauff: Stellar field at the WTA 500 in Charleston

Scheduled to take place soon after the WTA 1000 in Miami (March 23 – April 3), the Charleston tournament will welcome a field led by world No 1 Ashleigh Barty.

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The 2021 Volvo Car Open will welcome some of the best players on the circuit April 5-11 on the clay courts of Charleston, South Carolina. World No 1 Ashleigh Barty, who withdrew from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships this week, is the leader of this start-studded cast cast. The Australian, who is currently dealing with a left-leg injury, will make her clay-court comeback having not played on the surface since triumphing at Roland-Garros in 2019.

All in all, it is quite an impressive list for this newly-christened “500” event (the WTA recently remodeled its point system to be more in line with that of the ATP). Along with Barty, five other members of the top 20 will be taking their talents to Charleston. Sofia Kenin, winner of the 2020 Australian Open who is recovering from her appendicitis operation, is also on the entry list. Charleston should provide good preparation for the American prior to the European clay-court swing.

Two other Grand Slam winners will be in Charleston next month. GarbiΓ±e Muguruza, ranked 16th in the world, will play the American tournament for the second time in his career. The Spaniard has not played on green clay since 2013. Tournament organisers have also decided to grant a wild card to Kim Clijsters. It follows Clijsters’ wild card into the Miami Open, so the veteran Belgian will be on a bit of an American tour this spring.

Also on the list is Frenchwoman Fiona Ferro, who is in line for the No 7 seed as the entry list stands right now and will try to shine on clay once more following her round of 16 performance at Roland-Garros this past fall.

Youth also present

Many of the players listed above are veterans of the WTA Tour, but they will be joined in Charleston by a contingent of youngsters. Amanda Anisimova, currently No 12 on the entry list, and Coco Gauff (18th) are the headliners of that list. Gauff currently finds herself in the quarter-finals of the Dubai event, in which Anisimova made her comeback from injury. Anisimova advanced one round before falling to Muguruza.

Last year, Charleston was one of the first tournaments to be postponed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Coco Gauff