Kvitova, Keys Play Openers on a Wall-to-Wall Wednesday
By: Nick McCarvel
Wednesday is when things really get down to business at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston.
Fourteen singles matches are slated for the day to come on Daniel Island, meaning the second round will be complete and the tournament turns a corner towards its business end.
Two-time Wimbledon champion and No. 2 seed Petra Kvitova makes her long-awaited debut at the event, having missed last year and receiving a first-round bye. She opens against countrywoman Kristyna Pliskova, a player whom she is 1-0 against head-to-head.
While Kvitova plays the third match of the day session on Volvo Car Stadium, it’s crowd favorite and 2015 runner-up here Madison Keys that will feature in the evening session, set to play a crafty Spaniard in Lara Arruabarrena.
In total, there are 13 seeds in action, including No. 5 Julia Goerges, No. 6 Johanna Konta, No. 8 Anastasija Sevastova and No. 10 Naomi Osaka. Osaka’s match against German Laura Siegemund is one of the featured must-see battles of the day, the hard-hitting Japanese youngster going up against a plucky veteran in Siegemund, who made the semifinals here last year. Those two play second up on Althea Gibson Clubcourt.
The match that follows that one – No. 16 seed Elena Vesnina vs. American Taylor Townsend – is another clash of alternate styles. Townsend earned her first Charleston win on Tuesday on that very court, while Vesnina is a two-time singles finalist and a doubles winner here in the past.
Like Kvitova, Konta – the top British player – missed last year’s event after she won the title in Miami. She’ll have to play her best tennis against 19-year-old Fanny Stollar, a Hungarian who qualified and won her opening round a year after she made the round of 16 on Daniel Island.
Goerges, the No. 5 seed, meets American Kristie Ahn a day after the Stanford alumnus upset former champ here Sam Stosur, while Sevastova will be challenged by big-hitting Caroline Dolehide, herself just 19 and on a recent hot streak on tour. No. 9 seed Ashleigh Barty is also in action, up against one of the few moms on tour, Germany’s Tatjana Maria.
Overall, six Americans will play in singles, including qualifier Claire Liu and Bernarda Pera. Liu is the reigning Wimbledon junior champion and Pera’s year started with a surprise run at the Australian Open, where she was a qualifier and stunned Konta.
And doubles fans, don’t be disappointed: No. 4 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova are in action in the final match of the day on Clubcourt while another doubles match is slated for the evening session following Keys-Arruabarrena.
Just like we said: A wall-to-wall Wednesday.