The Volvo Car Open is a made-for-TV event this season, and tournament director Bob Moran has put together a star-studded field that should draw some eyeballs to the screen.
Current world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, former No. 1 players Garbiñe Muguruza and Kim Clijsters, six Grand Slam champions and rising star Coco Gauff join hometown favorite Shelby Rogers in the field for the WTA Tour event set for April 3-11 on Daniel Island.
There will be no spectators allowed at LTP Daniel Island this year due to COVID-19, but Tennis Channel will show more than 70 hours of live tennis from the premier women's-only event in North America. Volvo Car Stadium is undergoing renovation this year, as well.
"The world of live sporting events has had to make many difficult decisions over the past year,” said Moran, whose own tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. “We wish we could host a stadium full of fans in 2021 to appreciate the world-class talent represented in our player field, from WTA’s top-ranked Ashleigh Barty and our defending champion Madison Keys, to next generation tennis stars like Sofia Kenin and Coco Gauff.
"We are grateful that our broadcast partner Tennis Channel will air first ball to last ball main draw matches, providing our fans with more than 70 hours of live tennis and an opportunity to watch the powerful and entertaining competition on our courts this year. We look forward to getting back to normal in 2022 with a newly renovated stadium and celebrating 50 years of professional women’s tennis.”
The 56-player field is made up of 43 direct entries, five wild cards and eight qualifiers. Former No. 1 and four-time Grand Slam champ Kim Clijsters already has accepted a wild card as she continues her comeback after 7½ years of retirement.
The field includes players from 21 countries, including 10 Americans, and past Volvo Car Open champs Madison Keys (2019), Kiki Bertens (2018) and Sloane Stephens (2016).
Grand Slam champs include Barty, Muguruza, Stephens, Clijsters, Sofia Kenin and Jelena Ostapenko.
Barty, who has held the top WTA singles ranking the last two years, will compete for the second time in Charleston. Kenin, who won her first Grand Slam title in Australia in 2020, will be back for the fourth time.
Keys is the reigning Volvo Car Open champ after winning the 2019 title against Caroline Wozniacki.
Rogers has had a strong start to the 2020 season, rising to No. 49 after making the round of 16 at the Australian Open and the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open in 2020.
The VCO has partnered with the WTA and the Medical University of South Carolina to develop its health and safety protocols for the event. Both Tennis Channel and WTA Media have agreed to broadcast the 2021 Volvo Car Open, providing a full week of coverage and more than 70+ hours of live tennis.