By Arielle Alpino for The Island Eye News
The Credit One Charleston Open, the largest women’s only tennis tournament in North America, will host Grand Slam champions Garbiñe Muguruza and Simona Halep next year in a player field that is shaping up to be one of the tournament’s strongest. In addition to Muguruza and Halep, Paula Badosa, Belinda Bencic, Leylah Fernandez, Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens have already entered the field. The tournament will celebrate its 50th year in 2022, April 2-10, in the renovated and modernized Credit One Stadium on Daniel Island in Charleston, South Carolina. Muguruza and Halep are former World No. 1 players and two-time Grand Slam Champions, individually winning both Roland-Garros and Wimbledon. The highly anticipated Credit One Charleston Open will welcome back fans for the first time since 2019. The newly renovated Credit One Stadium will also be unveiled during the upcoming event, offering upgraded seating options and elevated hospitality experiences for patrons and players on-site. “Garbiñe and Simona are two Grand Slam champions with accomplished careers,” said Bob Moran, Tournament Director of the Credit One Charleston Open. “Garbiñe has had an amazing year, culminating in her historic title win at the season-ending WTA Finals. Simona is a player we have been looking forward to welcoming to Charleston for years, so we are excited to have her finally joining us in 2022. It’s going to be a big year for our tournament and these two players will certainly elevate the competition.” Muguruza captured three titles in 2021 and ended the year ranked World No. 3. The 2022 Credit One Charleston Open will be the 28-year-old’s third time competing in the Lowcountry. Throughout her 2021 season, she reached three quarterfinals, five finals and captured three titles at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, Chicago Fall Tennis Classic and AKRON WTA Finals Guadalajara, where she won her 10th career title – her biggest hardcourt title ever – and became the first Spanish woman to win the WTA Finals. Muguruza is the 2017 Wimbledon champion and 2016 Roland-Garros champion. She also reached the 2020 Australian Open final and 2015 Wimbledon final. “I can’t wait to come back to Charleston again. It’s one of the favorite stops on the tour for a reason,” said Muguruza. “I obviously feel at home on clay courts and look forward to seeing everyone at the tournament.” Halep will play the Credit One Charleston Open for the first time in 2022. The World No. 20 holds 22 career WTA titles and is the 2019 Wimbledon champion and 2018 Roland-Garros champion. Halep finished within the WTA’s top 5 rankings seven years in a row, from 2014 to 2020. “I am really looking forward to finally playing in Charleston for the first time in my career,” said Halep. “I was signed up to play in 2020 and then unfortunately the pandemic hit and I didn’t get the chance. I have heard so many great things about both the city and the tournament, so I can’t wait to get there and make my debut on the green clay.” Halep’s 2021 season included three quarterfinals appearances at the Gippsland Trophy, Australian Open and the VTB Kremlin Cup, two semifinals appearances at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and Upper Austria Ladies Linz and a finals berth at the Transylvania Open. She won three titles in 2020 in Dubai, Prague and Rome.
In addition to her two Grand Slam titles, the 30-year-old Romanian was a 2010 Australian Open finalist and Roland Garros finalist in 2017 and 2014.
The nine-day Credit One Charleston Open showcases a singles draw of 56 players, a qualifying draw of 32 players and a doubles draw of 16 players. The event traditionally hosts more than 90,000 attendees on Daniel Island. Additional players who have committed to competing at the tournament in 2022 will be announced in the coming weeks.