By Arielle Alpino for The Island Connection
Jelena Jankovic, the 2007 Family Circle Cup champion, Sabine Lisicki, the 2009 Family Circle Cup champion and Samantha Stosur, the 2010 Family Circle Cup champion, will all return to Charleston for the inaugural Volvo Car Open, April 2 – 10, 2016, on Daniel Island.
The three former champions join fellow champs Venus Williams (2004), Andrea Petkovic (2014) and Angelique Kerber (2015) in the world-class player field forming for the 2016 tournament.
“As former champions of our tournament, Jelena, Sam and Sabine have acquired a large fan following in Charleston,” said Eleanor Adams, Volvo Car Open Tournament Manager.
“Combined, this year will mark 29 tournaments in Charleston for these three talented ladies. We are so lucky!”
Jankovic, currently ranked World No. 19, has won 15 WTA singles titles. The former World No. 1 has made twelve previous appearances in Charleston, and holds a 21-10 win/loss.
“I love playing tennis in Charleston and on the green clay,” said Jankovic. “I won it there in 2007, was a finalist and now I’m ready to win again! I’m also excited to host the Lisette L Montreal Ladies Day lunch with my mom, Snezana, on Tuesday, April 5.”
World No. 27, Stosur has made nine previous appearances in Charleston and holds a 13-8 win/ loss record. The former US Open champion finished the season in the top 30 for the seventh year in a row.
“It’s no secret that I enjoy visiting and playing tennis in Charleston,” said Stosur. “I have developed great relationships with the tournament staff and fans over the years. I’ve already booked reservations at a number of my favorite Charleston restaurants, and a few new ones, too!”
Lisicki has made five previous appearances in Charleston. The World No. 32 was a finalist at Wimbledon in 2013.
“I’ll always think fondly of playing in Charleston since it’s where I won my first WTA title,” said Lisicki. “I enjoy coming back each year, seeing the fans and exploring the city.”
Young Stars Added to Lineup
Sloane Stephens and Eugenie Bouchard have committed to play, joining Angelique Kerber, Venus Williams, Belinda Bencic, Lucie Safarova, Madison Keys, Andrea Petkovic and more in the player field forming for the WTA premier tournament.
The 22-year-old Stephens and 21-year-old Bouchard have both played in Charleston before. This year will mark Stephens’ sixth appearance in the field and Bouchard’s fourth.
“Sloane and Genie are the next generation of tennis stars—two young players to watch,” said Adams. “Our fans have watched them compete in Charleston and have been rooting them on since their teenage years. You can be assured these talented ladies will have successful careers for many years to come.” “I love playing on clay, it’s my favorite surface,” said Stephens.
“I’m excited to kick-off the clay court season in Charleston again this year at the Volvo Car Open.”
Bouchard made the quarterfinals of the Family Circle Cup in 2013 and the semifinals in 2014.
“I’ve had great tournaments in Charleston,” said Bouchard. “I really love playing in this city. The fans, the food, the tennis – it’s all amazing. I’m looking forward to being there again.”
For tickets, call 800.677.2293 or visit www.volvocaropen.com.