WTA Charleston: Daria Kasatkina set to defend her title
Kasatkina posing with her title and a Volvo (Chris Smith/Volvo Car Open)

2017 Volvo Car Open champion Daria Kasatkina is set to defend her title in Charleston this year. She joins 2016 champion Sloane Stephens as the only two returning champions in the field. Former finalists Elina Vesnina, Madison Keys, and Lucie Safarova join the field as well. 

Strong Field

The Volvo Car Open commemorates the start of the clay season. It is the first tournament that is played on clay, though it is green clay, rather than the red clay that is played throughout Europe. As one of two Premier clay events in April, players are looking to get a headstart on finding their form on the clay with Stuttgart coming at the end of the month and then Madrid and Rome coming a few weeks before the French Open.

Caroline Garcia is the current top seed in the field followed by recently crowned Doha champion Petra Kvitova. Julia Goerges is looking to add a title on clay to her Auckland hard court title while Johanna Konta rounds out the top four seeds for now.

American headliners are former champion Sloane Stephens, former finalist Madison Keys, rising star CiCi Bellis, and Shelby Rogers. Stephens, the reigning US Open champion, is trying to find some form this year having struggled ever since capturing her maiden major title. Rogers and Stephens were a part of the Fed Cup-winning team last year.

Stephens was the 2016 Volvo Car Open champion (Volvo Car Open Twitter)
Stephens was the 2016 Volvo Car Open champion (Volvo Car Open Twitter)

Other top-30 players in the draw are Anastasija Sevastova, Ashleigh BartyBarbora Strycova, Daria Gavrilova, and Kiki Bertens. Barty and Gavrilova, the number one and two Australians respectively, were just confirmed to be playing in the tournament along with Bertens. Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu and Aleksandra Krunic were the other two players who were confirmed to be taking part in Charleston along with the two Australians and Bertens.