By Arielle Alpino for The Island Connection
World No. 8 Caroline Garcia, World No. 9 Johanna Konta and WTA Newcomer of the Year Catherine ‘CiCi’ Bellis have committed to play in the Volvo Car Open’s main draw for 2018. The two top 10 players, Garcia and Konta, and 18-year-old Bellis, will be joined in the growing Charleston player field by defending Volvo Car Open champion Daria Kasatkina, U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová and U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys. The Volvo Car Open will take place March 31 – April 8, 2018 on Daniel Island. 2018 will be the first time playing in the Volvo Car Open main draw for Konta and Bellis. Garcia will compete for the sixth time in the Volvo Car Open singles field. She won the Charleston doubles title in 2016, the same year she won the doubles title in Roland Garros.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Caroline, Jo and CiCi to Charleston,” said Eleanor Adams, Volvo Car Open Tournament Manager. “We pride ourselves on supporting a wide-range of talent, and we are proud of how the 2018 field is shaping up. It features many new faces competing in our tournament, and we know our fans are going to love interacting and rooting for these ladies!” The three newest additions to the Charleston field each found success on the court this past season. France’s Garcia won two back-to-back singles titles in 2017 in Wuhan and Beijing, respectively, before qualifying for the WTA Finals where she reached the semifinals. On her way to the Beijing title, she defeated Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina, ranked No. 2 and No. 3 at the time. Her match against Svitolina was named the ‘Best Match of the Year’ by WTA, as Garcia completed a three-set, three-hour unseeded victory over Svitolina by saving match point.
She also reached four semifinals and three quarterfinals this year, and had her first top 10 season of her career. Konta also won two tournaments in 2017, in Sydney and Miami. Her Miami Open win solidified her first WTA Premier title, the best of her career, to date, and the biggest by any British woman in 40 years. Additionally, Konta reached the finals in Nottingham, the semifinals of Wimbledon, Eastbourne and Shenzhen and quarterfinals of Cincinnati and the Australian Open. She closed out the year with her second top 10 season. Bellis was named the WTA Newcomer of the Year winner in October 2017, which was voted upon by international tennis media. Due to injury the American missed the beginning part of the 2017 season, however her successes this year include several tennis firsts for the teenager.
She reached her first Premier-level semifinal in Stanford and her first Premier 5 quarterfinal in Dubai, where she defeated Agnieszka Radwanska for her first top 10 win. She also made the semifinals in Mallorca and the third round of the French Open. She reached a career-high ranking of No. 35 in August.
The nine-day Volvo Car Open is the largest women’s-only tennis tournament in North America, attracting an average of 90,000 attendees and more than 100 of the top singles and doubles tennis players.
For more information on the tournament and ticket options, visit volvocaropen.com or call 800.677.2293.