The spring clay season officially begins Monday in Charleston, South Carolina with a strong field led by recent Miami champion Ash Barty and Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.
The long-storied event which is played on green clay, also attracted Petra Kvitova, Garbine Muguruza, Belinda Bencic, Elise Mertens, Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens and Coco Gauff.
Keys, Stephens, Kiki Bertens and Andrea Petkovic are all former champions.
The 56-draw opens Monday Amanda Anisimova and Elena Rybakina headlining.
The projected quarterfinals: Barty-Bencic, Vondrousova-Keys, Muguruza-Kvitova, Mertens-Kenin.
Among the first round matches include Mladenovic-Rogers, Rybakina-McNally, Stephens-Wang and Gauff-Pironkova.
The tournament wasn’t held in 2020 due to the pandemic. The last champions was in 2019 when Keys beat Caroline Wozniacki for the title.
“I’m excited to get on the green clay in Charleston,” Barty said of her clay schedule. “We’ll look forward to getting over to Europe and get on some red clay in Stuttgart, Madrid, Rome. That’s the plan for us. Looking forward to it.
“Stuttgart is a new tournament for me. Madrid, I love playing there, and obviously Rome is a beautiful city before we go into Paris. Hopefully, touch wood, all the cities can stay safe and we can play environments where we are safe and can go out there and do what we love doing.”
Next week, the site will host a smaller WTA 250 32-draw event.
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