Sloane Stephens, the rising 19-year-old star who upset Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarterfinals last month, has entered the Family Circle Cup field, tournament officials announced Tuesday.
Stephens at No. 16 is the highest-ranked American after top-ranked Williams, the defending Family Circle Cup champion. Williams committed to a Daniel Island return earlier this month.
The Family Circle Cup is set for March 30 to April 7.
Two other former champions, Venus Williams and Samantha Stosur, also plan to play in the 2013 Family Circle Cup.
Stephens is the youngest player in the WTA top 20.
“After watching Sloane perform so well in the Australian Open, we are excited to see her game continue to mature at the Cup,” Family Circle Cup tournament manager Eleanor Adams said.
Stephens will make her third Family Circle Cup appearance.
“I’ve put a lot of hard work in over the past year and it’s starting to pay off,” Stephens said. “I’m looking forward to returning to the Family Circle Cup as it’s our first clay court tournament of the year. Charleston is a beautiful city with great tennis fans.”
Stephens has seen success in the Grand Slam singles tournaments. She made it to the third round of the 2011 and 2012 US Open, the third round of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, the fourth round of the 2012 French Open and the semifinals of the 2013 Australian Open.
See www.familycirclecup.com or call 800 677-2293 for ticket information.