Madison Keys, Johanna Konta, Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki lead the field at the 2017 Volvo Car Open, the WTA's unique Premier green-clay event, live from Charleston from 3-9 April 2017.
WTA Charleston 2017 tournament schedule
Today's Volvo Car Open order of play
Who is playing WTA Charleston in 2017?
The WTA Tour's unique green-clay Premier event in Charleston, South Carolina always attracts a star-studded field at the 2017 Volvo Car Open is no exception with no fewer than six former champions in the field, including third-seeded Venus Williams. Williams, back in the top 10 after finishing runner-up at the Australian Open and reaching the semifinals of last week's Miami Open, was a champion at the Volvo Car Open back in 2004 and will bid for the title again in 2017.
Heading the WTA Charleston field when it begins on Monday 3 April is world no. 11 Madison Keys, the brightest star of the younger generation of American women, who is hoping to improve upon her 2015 runner-up finish to Angelique Kerber in Charleston; and the brand-new world no. 7 Johanna Konta, fresh from her triumph at the Premier Mandatory-level Miami Open when she beat Caroline Wozniacki in the final to become the first British woman to win the major title.
Wozniacki is also in the 2017 Volvo Car Open field; the Dane, who won the title back in 2011, is joined by fellow former champions Jelena Jankovic (2007), Samantha Stosur (2010) and Andrea Petkovic (2014).
Twice a runner-up in Charleston and fresh from winning the biggest title of her career at Indian Wells, Elena Vesnina is also in the 2017 Volvo Car Open draw alongside the likes of 2015 French Open runner-up (and 2012 Charleston runner-up) Lucie Safarova, Australian Open semifinalist Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and Rio Olympics gold medalist Monica Puig.
It's set to be another glittering celebration of top-level women's tennis when the 2017 Volvo Car Open takes place from 3-9 April.
WTA Charleston 2017 seeds
|1||11||Madison Keys||Runner-up (2015)|
|2||7||Johanna Konta||Q-R1 (2011)|
|3||10||Venus Williams||Champion (2004)|
|4||14||Elena Vesnina||Runner-up (2011, 2016)|
|5||12||Caroline Wozniacki||Champion (2011)|
|6||17||Samantha Stosur||Champion (2010)|
|7||21||Kiki Bertens||R2 (2014)|
|8||26||Anastasija Sevastova||R2 (2009)|
About the Volvo Car Open
After the first quarter of the season played mainly on outdoor hard courts, culminating in the major events of Indian Wells and Miami, the tennis world’s eyes turn towards clay and many of the WTA Tour’s strongest players will opt to begin their warm-up for the French Open at the Volvo Car Open, the only women’s clay-court tennis event held on US soil.
Formerly known as the Family Circle Cup, the Volvo Car Open has another claim to uniqueness – it’s the only professional event on the ATP World or WTA Tours held on green clay.
First played in 1973, the year that the WTA Tour was formed in a landmark development for women’s sport and permanently changing the face of tennis, the history of the Volvo Car Open is intimately intertwined with the evolution of the WTA Tour itself. Rosie Casals, the first winner of the event when it was held in Hilton Head, was one of the ‘Original 9’ – the women, led by Billie Jean King, who signed $1 agreements with World Tennis publications publisher Gladys Heldman in 1970 to compete in what would become the Virginia Slims Series – and the Volvo Car Open’s stadium court is named after King herself. The Original 9 were reunited in April 2012 at the tournament’s 40-year anniversary.
The Volvo Car Open was the first women’s tournament to offer $100,000 in prize money and the first to be broadcast on network TV. Appropriately for an event which has played such a formative role in the evolution of the WTA Tour, its champions’ roll reads like a list of many of the all-time greats of women’s tennis. Chris Evert reigns supreme with an amazing eight titles between 1974 and 1985, one of just four women in the Open Era to win the same event seven or more times, with four-time champions Martina Navratilova (1982-3, 1988, 1990) and Steffi Graf (1986-7, 1989, 1993) also occupying prominent places on the roll of honour.
Gabriela Sabatini, Conchita Martinez, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Martina Hingis, Jennifer Capriati, Mary Pierce and Venus Williams are also on the list of Volvo Car Open winners, while over the past decade Serena Williams has been the most dominant player, winning in Charleston in 2008 (d. Vera Zvonareva), 2012 (d. Lucie Safarova) and 2013 (d. Jelena Jankovic).
Williams has been joined in the Charleston winners’ circle by Sabine Lisicki (2009), Samantha Stosur (2010) and Caroline Wozniacki (2011), of whom Stosur went on to become a US Open champion while Lisicki and Wozniacki both reached Grand Slam finals and the Dane would become world no. 1. Andrea Petkovic defeated Jana Cepelova in the 2014 final to announce her return to the top echelons of women’s tennis after a painful series of injuries; she would go on to reach the semifinals of the French Open, and win titles in Bad Gastein and Sofia, cracking the top 10 for the second time at the beginning of 2015.
Angelique Kerber came into WTA Charleston in 2015 in dire need of form after a poor start to the season, but things ‘clicked’ for the left-handed, athletic German as she stormed through the draw before defeating big-serving American Madison Keys in the final. It was the first of four Premier-level WTA Tour titles Kerber would win in 2015 before going on to win her maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. Kerber returned to defend her title in 2016 but it was young American Sloane Stephens who claimed her third and biggest title of the season so far, defeating Elena Vesnina in the final.
WTA Charleston tournament information
|Dates||3-9 April 2017|
|Location||Charleston, South Carolina, USA|
|Venue||Volvo Car Stadium|
|Surface||Green clay (outdoors)|
|Entrants||56 singles/16 doubles|
|No. of seeds||8|
|Reigning singles champion||Sloane Stephens|
|Reigning doubles champions||Caroline Garcia/Kristina Mladenovic|
Previous WTA Charleston champions
|1973||Rosie Casals||Nancy Richey|
|1974||Chris Evert||Kerry Melville-Reid|
|1975||Chris Evert (2)||Martina Navratilova|
|1976||Chris Evert (3)||Kerry Melville-Reid|
|1977||Chris Evert (4)||Billie Jean King|
|1978||Chris Evert (5)||Kerry Melville-Reid|
|1979||Tracy Austin||Kerry Melville-Reid|
|1980||Tracy Austin||Regina Marsikova|
|1981||Chris Evert (6)||Pam Shriver|
|1982||Martina Navratilova||Andrea Jaeger|
|1983||Martina Navratilova (2)||Tracy Austin|
|1984||Chris Evert (7)||Claudia Koehle-Kilsch|
|1985||Chris Evert (8)||Gabriela Sabatini|
|1986||Steffi Graf||Chris Evert|
|1987||Steffi Graf (2) ||Manuela Maleeva|
|1988||Martina Navratilova (3)||Gabriela Sabatini|
|1989||Steffi Graf (3)||Natasha Zvereva|
|1990||Martina Navratilova (4)||Jennifer Capriati|
|1991||Gabriela Sabatini||Leila Meskhi|
|1992||Gabriela Sabatini (2)||Conchita Martinez|
|1993||Steffi Graf (4)||Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario|
|1994||Conchita Martinez||Natasha Zvereva|
|1995||Conchita Martinez (2)||Magdalena Maleeva|
|1996||Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario||Barbara Paulus|
|1997||Martina Hingis||Monica Seles|
|1998||Amanda Coetzer||Irina Spirlea|
|1999||Martina Hingis (2)||Anna Kournikova|
|2000||Mary Pierce||Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario|
|2001||Jennifer Capriati||Monica Hingis|
|2002||Iva Majoli||Patty Schnyder|
|2003||Justine Henin||Serena Williams|
|2004||Venus Williams||Conchita Martinez|
|2005||Justine Henin (2)||Elena Dementieva|
|2006||Nadia Petrova||Patty Schnyder|
|2007||Jelena Jankovic||Dinara Safina|
|2008||Serena Williams||Vera Zvonareva|
|2009||Sabine Lisicki||Caroline Wozniacki|
|2010||Samantha Stosur||Vera Zvonareva|
|2011||Caroline Wozniacki||Elena Vesnina|
|2012||Serena Williams (2)||Lucie Safarova|
|2013||Serena Williams (3)||Jelena Jankovic|
|2014||Andrea Petkovic||Jana Cepelova|
|2015||Angelique Kerber||Madison Keys|
|2016||Sloane Stephens||Elena Vesnina|
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