As the top women players head for the European clay court swing, a few have held back for the 2021 MUSC Health Women’s Open, which is being played on outdoor green clay Har-Tru courts at the Family Circle Tennis Center on Daniel Island this week, a public tennis facility owned by the City of Charleston and operated by Charleston Tennis LLC.
The WTA250 has been organised under a single-year licence in 2021 because of the repercussions of the global coronavirus pandemic, and is taking place at the same venue as last week’s Volvo Car Open.
The top seeds for the event are Ons Jabeur (1), Magda Linette (2), Shelby Rogers (3), Alize Cornet (4), Misaki Doi (5), Ajla Tomljanovic (6), Lauren Davis (7) and Madison Brengle (8).
With only 6 first round matches played on Monday, the only seed to fall was Doi, who retired from her all-Japanese battle with Nao Hibino, which lasted a gruelling 3 hours 9 minutes when Doi succumbed to cramps in the third set tiebreak and had to retire with the score standing at 7-5 5-7 6-6
World No 46 Rogers, who reached the last 16 at last week’s Volvo Car Open, proved too good for fellow American Caty McNally winning 6-0 6-1 in just over an hour.
Seventh seed Davis defeated wild card Coco Vandeweghe 7-6(3) 6-4 in their All American battle, while Australian 6th seed Tomljanovic cruised past Mexico’s Renata Zarazua 6-1 6-1 in the final match of the first day.
American 8th seed Brengle also progressed in three sets past Russia’s Natalia Vikhlyantseva and Denmark’s Clara Tauson, who is unseeded, scored her first WTA main draw win since capturing the Lyon title last month, powering past another Russian, Liudmila Samsonova, 6-3 6-3.
Tuesday’s action sees the top seed Ons Jabeur in action as the Tunisian kicks off her campaign against Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele.
Also on the schedule is Poland’s Magda Linette, the No 2 seed, who faces María Camila Osorio Serrano, the recently-crowned Copa Colsanitas champion in her homeland of Colombia.
Linette is still looking to rediscover her form after returning from a knee injury that required her to undergo surgery at the end of last season, but she will have her work cut out as she is in the hugely competitive bottom half of the draw.
Osorio Serrano had a tremendously successful career as a junior, reached No 1 in the world rankings, and capturing the girls’ singles title at the 2019 US Open.
The 19-year-old has since transitioned successfully to the senior circuit with her big breakthrough coming at the recently-concluded event in Bogota, where she delighted her home fans with a dominant display throughout the week.
All the remaining first round matches at MUSC Health Women’s Open 2021 will be completed on Tuesday and can be viewed live or via replay on Amazon Prime Video.