Catch Up On the 2017 Volvo Car Open
By: Nicholas McCarvel
- It's been a breakthrough event for Shelby Rogers, who had won one match here in four previous appearance but is into the quarterfinals after a win Thursday night over Naomi Osaka. Rogers upset Madison Keys in the second round Wednesday. She's a former ball girl who is now a bonafide WTA pro. She made the quarterfinals at the French Open last year.
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- Caroline Wozniacki is the highest remaining seed in the tournament having won two matches on a windy Thursday. Her second round match was rained out on Wednesday night, forcing her into double duty. She's the lone former champ left in the draw and is playing in Charleston for the first time since 2013.
- There have been plenty of upsets this tournament: Rogers over Keys; Laura Siegemund saving match points to beat Venus Williams; and a teenager named Fanny Stollar stunning No. 4 seed Elena Vesnina - the Indian Wells champion - in the second round.
- Siegemund followed up her win over Venus with a victory over another seed in former finalist here Lucie Safarova. The German had struggled through 2017 so far, but she is now into the quarterfinals.
- Top seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Safarova are still alive in doubles, while No. 2 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Sania Mirza were upset on Thursday by Raquel Atawo, an American, and Jelena Ostapenko.
- The stories in the quarterfinals are inspiring, led by 35-year-old Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who reached the Australian Open semifinals this January, 18 years after reaching her first major semi at Wimbledon - in 1999. Irina-Camelia Begu is also in the quarterfinals, her third such effort in three Charleston appearances. As is Daria Kasatkina, a young Russian who at 19 years old plays crafty and creative tennis on the green clay.
- No. 2 seed Johanna Konta pulled out with injury and illness before the event began.
- The tournament is on Tennis Channel for the first time in its 45-year history, with coverage on the U.S. network from first ball to last. Winning players from Volvo Car Stadium have developed a new routine: Make their way to the Tennis Channel desk for a live chat on TV post-match. Fans have followed in droves.