American No 1 Jessica Pegula headlines Charleston Open draw

Jessica Pegula in action

A trio of top ten stars headline the Credit One Charleston Open maid draw with world No 3 Jessica Pegula carrying the top seed tag.

The main draw for the traditional clay court season opener was unveiled on Saturday 1 April 2023.

Pegula, former world No 2 Ons Jabeur, Russian No 1 Daria Kasatkina and defending champion Belinda Bencic lead a star-studded field at the first WTA 500-level tournament of the 2023 clay-court season.

New mum Elina Svitolina also makes her return to the WTA Tour in Charleston after a year-long maternity leave.

Svitolina and her husband, ATP star Gael Monfils, welcomed daughter Skaï to the family in October.

The top eight seeds in the tournament will enjoy a bye into the second round of a main draw made up of 56 players.

In an interesting piece of trivia, the Charleston Open is now the longest-running all-women’s tournament staged in the United States.

Pegula gets a bye into the second round but could meet 2021 Charleston champion and fifth seed Veronika Kudermetova in the quarter-finals, should seeds hold sway.

Notable players in Pegula’s section include Paula Badosa, a 2021 Charleston semifinalist and 12th seed, Sofia Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion, as well as Canada’s Leylah Fernandez, and rising American prospect Alycia Parks.

Bencic claimed the sixth of her eight career WTA singles titles ro date in Charleston last year and heads the second quarter as the fourth seed.

Svitolina also finds herself in the second quarter, where she will play her first match on tour since the Miami Open a year ago.

In the first round, Svitolina will take on three-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist Yulia Putintseva, while the winner will face Alexandrova in the second round.

The 2017 Charleston winner, Kasatkina, heads the third quarter as the No 3 seed.

If Kasatkina lives up to her seeding through to the quarter-finals, she might face Magda Linette, the No 8 seed and Australian Open , or 2019 winner Madison Keys, the No 9 seed.

Jabeur, last year’s beaten finalist, is seeded second and anchors the bottom quarter.

On the other side of that lowest quarter is No 6 seed Victoria Azarenka who could face Jabeur in the quarter-finals.

2016 Charleston winner Sloane Stephens could be a formidable opponent for Azarenka in the second round.

Also in the lower quarters, No 14 seed Jil Teichmann is set to face Czech teenager Linda Fruhvirtova in what could be a thrilling first-round clash.

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