Stars confirmed for clay court kick off at the Charleston Open

Belinda Bencic celebrates Credit: Alamy
Belinda Bencic celebrates Credit: Alamy

Five Top 10 players will begin their clay-court seasons in 2023 at the Charleston Open, the opening WTA 500 event on clay this year.

On Monday 3 April, the 56-player main draw gets underway on the green clay, with the action in Charleson climaxing with the singles and doubles finals happen on Sunday 9 April.

Aryna Sabalenka, the current Australian Open champion and the world’s No 2 player, is joined on the entry list by No 3 Jessica Pegula, No 4 Ons Jabeur, No 8 Daria Kasatkina, and No 9 and defending champion Belinda Bencic.

Bencic will return to Charleston to defend her championship, having defeated Jabeur in the championship match last year in an enthralling three-set battle.

“Super proud to win the first title on clay,” Bencic said after that win. “I think it was a week where I was fighting. I was two points away from the exit in the first round, and I feel like this is how you win the tournament.

“I’m just really relieved I served it out. I think Ons, she took everything from me today. And at some point I just really didn’t know what to do anymore, and I think she played great in the second set. … I was just trying to fight every point.

“It means a lot, and especially this is the 50th anniversary of [the tournament], and it makes me so happy that I am among those names, especially when I saw yesterday all the former champions.”

The other former champions in the field include Kasatkina who was victorious in Charleston in 2017, Sloane Stephens who won in 2016, 2019 champion Madison Keys and 2021 titlist Veronika Kudermetova.

Also competing is Jelena Ostapenko, who placed second in 2017 before going on to win Roland Garros later that year. Other top competitors include Leylah Fernandez, a finalist at the 2021 US Open, and former World No 1 and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka.

Magda Linette, who reached the semifinals of the 2023 Australian Open, Paula Badosa, Danielle Collins, and Anett Kontaveit, as well as rising teenage Czech star Linda Fruhvirtova and Charleston local Shelby Rogers, are also players who add something special to the Charleston draw.

Rising American stars Alycia Parks, who won her first WTA singles championship in Lyon earlier this year, and Caty McNally, 21, who made it to her second WTA singles semi-final in Merida last month, are also among those carrying the hopes of a home win for the United States.

READ MORE: Taylor Fritz says media and fan expectations can ruin young players

The article Stars confirmed for clay court kick off at the Charleston Open appeared first on