Women's Main Draw Preview: 5 Former Champs Headline Field
By: Nicholas McCarvel
Five former champions and a combined 24 Grand Slam titles are represented at the 2013 Volvo Car Open in the women's singles draw, including 2008 and defending champion Serena Williams, the world No. 1 and top seed in Charleston.
Serena's sister Venus, a winner here in 2004, is the No. 5 seed and pitted on the top half of the draw along with up-and-coming American star Sloane Stephens, who beat Serena at the Australian Open earlier this year. Czech lefty Lucie Safarova, seeded sixth, is the remaining seed on the top half.
Safarova was joined by American Jamie Hampton to help make the draw Saturday at the Volvo Car Open.
Caroline Wozniacki, the 2011 champion here and former world No. 1, was awarded a wild card last week and anchors the draw as the No. 2 seed on the bottom half of the draw. 2010 winner Sam Stosur is the third seed, while German Mona Barthel is seeded eighth, and Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain is the No. 7 seed.
A host of American names fill the draw, including No. 12 seed Varvara Lepchenko, wildcards Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Taylor Townsend as well as Melanie Oudin, Christina McHale, Madison Keys and Hampton.
Two other former champions are lurking in the draw including No. 15 Sabine Lisicki, who won here in 2009, and 2007 winner Jelena Jankovic, the No. 9 seed. 2010 French Open Francesca Schiavone is also in the field and could face Wozniacki in round two.
Below is a breakdown of the top and bottom halves of the draw, looking at key first-round match-ups and potential quarterfinal showdowns. The top eight seeds receive byes.
Projected quarterfinals:  Serena Williams vs.  Lucie Safarova
 Sloane Stephens vs.  Venus Williams
Serena is fresh off a convincing performance in Miami, where she beat world No. 2 Maria Sharapova in a three-set final to win her record sixth title there. She could come up against Lisicki, the big-hitting German in round three. Lisicki did not drop a set on her way to the title in 2009 and is a three-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist.
The 20-year-old Stephens could match up against wildcard Mattek-Sands in the second round should the fiery American get past Australian Anastasia Rodionova. Teen sensation Keys, the world No. 76 who has a powerful backcourt game, takes on Alexandra Cadantu in her opener.
It's an all-American battle to start for No. 12 Lepchenko and New Jersey native McHale. McHale won their most recent battle at the Paris Indoors last February. The winner of that match is projected to play Venus in round three should they win their subsequent matches.
Projected quarterfinals:  Sam Stosur vs.  Mona Barthel
 Caroline Wozniacki vs.  Carla Suarez Navarro
It was a late entry for No. 2 Wozniacki, who was granted a wildcard following an early loss in Miami. But the Dane is a former world No. 1 and made an inspiring run to the Indian Wells final earlier this month. She could face clay court specialist Schiavone in the second round.
Near the top of the bottom half of the draw is an enticing first-round match between former US Open quarterfinalist Oudin, a Georgia native, and former world No. 1 Jankovic. Surprisingly the 21-year-old American has won both their encounters, each coming on grass in 2009 and 2012.
While it is Stosur and Barthel who are slated to meet in the quarterfinals, No. 16 seed Laura Robson of Great Britain could have something to say about that as she could face the Aussie Stosur in round three. The world No. 43 is a lefty to watch at just 19 years old, beating Kim Clijsters and Li Na at the US Open a year ago.
American Hampton, who at 23 years old is ranked 68th in the world faces Belarus' Olga Govortsova in her first match. The winner of that battle will take on either No. 10 Julia Goerges or teenager Yulia Putintseva, who is coached by Martina Hingis.
To round out the bottom half of the draw, wildcard Andrea Petkovic, a former top 10 player, meets fellow wildcard Townsend, who at just 16 years old ended the year at No. 1 in the junior rankings in 2012 and won her first-ever pro match at Indian Wells earlier this month. Petkovic or Townsend would potentially have to get by No. 14 seed Yaroslava Shvedova to perhaps face Wozniacki in the round of 16.