Top Seed Bouchard Opens Cup Campaign as Americans Stephens, Rogers Play, Too
By: Nick McCarvel
Back in Charleston a year after she was tennis’ breakout star, Genie Bouchard is the top seed at the Volvo Car Open as the world No. 7. It’s a leading role that the 21-year-old Canadian has had to get used to – fast.
A wild card entrant into the Cup, Bouchard made the decision late to come back to Daniel Island, the site of one of her many successes last year when she made it all the way to the semifinals before bowing out to eventual champion Andrea Petkovic.
Wednesday afternoon she looks to continue the stellar play from 2014 in her first match here this year, a second-round encounter with American counterpuncher Lauren Davis.
Bouchard owns their only career meeting: A 6-2, 6-2 victory at the Australian Open in 2014. They face off in the fourth match on Billie Jean King Stadium Court.
It’s a jam-packed day of action at the Cup, as local hope Shelby Rogers plays second on Stadium Court, former champion Sam Stosur is on third on Althea Gibson Club Court, American star Sloane Stephens fourth on Club Court, and No. 7 seed Madison Keys playing in an evening session that also features Martina Hingis in doubles.
Could there be a better day of tennis? And we’re still discussing matches.
World No. 9 and the second seed here Ekaterina Makarova kicks off the day on Billie Jean King Stadium Court, the Russian facing China’s Zhang Shuai. Rogers’ match is to follow that one, the Mount Pleasant-born local the favorite pitted in a battle against qualifier Sara Sorribes Tormo, a Spaniard ranked No. 195 in the world.
No. 4 seed Sara Errani, a former French Open finalist, will play third on Stadium Court following Rogers’ match, as she takes on surprise Charleston runner-up from last year Jana Cepelova. Bouchard closes the day session thereafter, facing off against Davis.
The day session belongs to the whole of the Family Circle Tennis Center grounds, however, with the aforementioned Stephens and Stosur matches taking place on Althea Gibson Club Court. Another breakout star from 2014, semifinalist Belinda Bencic starts the day on that court, the 18 year old’s match to be followed by American Madison Brengle battling another teen in Croatia’s Donna Vekic.
Tuesday Court 3 was filled to the brim with doubles enthusiasts, a place that’ll again play host to the team game with Rogers pairing up with Alison Riske to face off against Petkovic and Marina Erakovic in the third match there after 11am.
The evening session packs perhaps the most star power, with Keys playing at 7pm fresh off her run to the Australian Open semifinals two months ago. Hingis then takes to the court with Sania Mirza, the Indian doubles specialist with whom the Swiss miss has joined to win two titles in as many tournaments over the past month. They take on Australian sisters Anastasia and Arina Rodionova.