CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - 2019 champion Madison Keys and the top ranked women’s tennis player in the world, Ashleigh Barty, headline the initial field for the 2021 Volvo Car Open that was released by the tournament on Wednesday.
Keys will be joined by two other former VCO champions this year. 2018 winner Kiki Bertens and 2016 winner Sloane Stephens.
The tournament will also feature six former grand slam winners including Barty, Stephens, Sofia Kenin, Garbiñe Muguruza, Jelena Ostapenko and Kim Clijsters.
Klijsters, a former top ranked player in the world, will be playing in the Lowcountry for the first time. She’ll be joined by fellow first timer Coco Gauff.
Lowcountry native Shelby Rogers will also be playing in her hometown tournament.
“The world of live sporting events has had to make many difficult decisions over the past year,” Bob Moran, Tournament Director for the Volvo Car Open said in a statement. “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 2021 tournament will be held without fans due to the ongoing pandemic. The tournament has partnered with the WTA and the Medical University of South Carolina to develop its health and safety protocols for the event, which will allow the team to create a safe atmosphere for players, essential staff and operational partners.
The Volvo Car Open was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.