Credit One Charleston Open 2024: 10 things to remember

Credit One Charleston Open 2024: 10 things to remember

Credit One Charleston Open, Credit One Stadium

Another Credit One Charleston Open has come and gone in what feels like the blink of an eye, but it was nine days of tennis, family and fun – both on the court and off of it.

We look back at 10 things to remember, from the champions crowned to Charleston – once again – being one of the most beloved stops on the Hologic WTA Tour, and all the moments in between that we won’t soon forget.

Credit One Stadium, Credit One Charleston Open
2024 Credit One Charleston Open Day 9 at Credit One Stadium on April 07, 2024 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Singles champion: Collins can’t be stopped
You might have been forgiven if you thought Danielle Collins might be running out of steam after 12 consecutive match wins, a change in surface and upsetting several of the tournament’s top seeds en route to Sunday’s final.

But you would have been wrong.

Not only did the unseeded but in-form American have the energy to dominate No. 4 seed Daria Kasatkina in the final, but she did it in style – crushing winner after winner and rarely offering a glimmer of hope to her opponent.

The win moves Collins all the way up to World No. 15 in next week’s rankings and no doubt she’ll remain the one to beat in the coming tournaments as the WTA Tour transitions to the red clay of Europe.

Doubles champions: Stephens & Krueger get it done on home soil
Despite a 12-year age gap, only four tournaments together and a wild-card entry into the tournament, veteran Sloane Stephens and rising youngster Ashlyn Krueger got the job done in doubles on Sunday in front of their home crowd.

The duo fought back from a set down to claim their first doubles title both together and, well, ever. Stephens, the 2017 US Open champ with a prolific singles career, commented on her first-time doubles success at the same tournament where she hoisted the singles trophy eight years ago.

Credit One Charleston Open, Credit One Stadium

She charmingly let her 19-year-old teammate take the mic first in her first-ever trophy ceremony before taking over the thank-you duties, which included everyone from the fans, the sponsors – and the tournament’s trophy maker(!) who was in the crowd watching the final.

Doing Daniel Island like never before
The same intimate feeling greeted tennis fans as they made their way onto the grounds of the Live to Play site, but the changes were many, most notably two grandstands banking the Althea Gibson Club Court, turning it into a true stadium experience for players and fans alike.

Video boards around the grounds kept people updated on practice sessions, and a viewing deck above Court 3 also gave perfect views to two featured practice courts.

The Oaks Deck was expanded and spacey, hosting various events, musicians, panels and autograph signings – and much more.

Tournament ambassadors add new layer
There’s life beyond pro tennis, isn’t there? Of course there is – and tournament ambassadors Tracy Austin, Monica Puig, Alison Riske-Amritraj, Jennifer Brady and Vania King showed that much over the tournament week, participating in fan-facing panels, doling out selfies and autographs, and giving fans a glimpse of “life off the court” for a group of women who did so much on it.

“It’s really cool… it’s players who are in different phases of their lives,” Puig said. “It’s been dynamic and shed light on our different career accomplishments, but also answer any questions about life on tour.”

Credit One Charleston Open, Credit One Stadium

On-site activities – Recapping what went down
Not into the tennis? No problem. No, really! From local food and beverage options to a collection of off-court activities, there was something for literally everyone this year at the Charleston Open.

A myriad of live music acts kept fans humming on the Oaks Stage and First Serve Plaza, while padel courts on the side of the venue offered all-day opportunity to try the growing game – as well as glow-in-the-dark pickleball and more.

Family weekend kicked off the event over the Easter holiday, with the beloved Doubles, Bubbles & Bites inside Credit One Stadium taking place over the weekend, too.

‘YOLO!’ Danielle does it her way
The talk of the tournament was the Paula Badosa-Collins opening round match when the draw came out, but the Miami Open champion Collins didn’t stop there. In fact, she soared into the semifinals, beating Badosa, former champions Ons Jabeur and Sloane Stephens (in one day) and the always-dangerous Elise Mertens to reach the final four for the first time.

The run brought Collins’ win streak total to 11, and she did it all with a focus on the process, she said, and a “you only live once” approach. “YOLO is my life,” Collins told reporters. “There’s just a lot of fun energy and vibes around it… You know how phrases [can] get you excited? YOLO really resonates with me.”

15 years after her first, Caroline Wozniacki returns
There were a myriad of inspiring stories on court, but perhaps none as awesome to see as 2011 champion Wozniacki back five years after she had last played in Charleston, returning to tour last summer after giving birth to two children.

Caro showed some vintage stuff, too, dropping just one game in her first match before falling to Anhelina Kalinina in round two.

Charleston: The players’ playground 
The last two years the Credit One Charleston Open has been voted WTA 500-level tournament of the year, and while the tournament continues to strive for the best, it gets a major assist from the city it calls home.

Players come for the history, friendly folks, bespoke style and – you guessed it – world class food, all of which serve as added bonuses to an already immaculate experience.

This year, Leylah Fernandez and Sakkari set out for the famed Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant for the iconic photoshoot, spotting dolphins and checking out the famed crab boats. The Peacock Club, in historic downtown, hosted the beloved player party, with a live band, sushi bar, magician and candy buffet all on offer.

Feeling the local love for Emma and Shelby
A women’s only tennis tournament with two hometown hopes among the world’s best? That’s not a coincidence.

“Charleston tennis is just getting started,” Rogers said after her first-round win. “We have more players coming out of Charleston. … I think without this tournament here, I would not have been exposed to professional women’s tennis. [As a kid] I was able to be up close and personal with professional tennis players, have conversations with them, see how they train, see how they practice. It made it more tangible for me.”

Rogers has carried that burden and honor over the last few years, but joining her this year was Emma Navarro, the world No.20 who has had a banner year, and won her own opening match before falling in the third round to a red-hot Jaqueline Cristian, who had taken out Madison Keys, too.

But Navarro’s consistent form on tour has shown she’s here to stay, leaving Charleston fans with promise of hometown heroes to cheers on for years to come. So, who’s next?

Oh, and we had a dang good time, too
From the drama on the court to the joy-filled moments beyond it, there wasn’t a dull moment at the Credit One Charleston Open this year. But there were also a lot of laughs… A LOT. We played April Fool’s Day jokes, were wowed by a magician, handed out countless autographs and selfies, and also set the record straight on how some of our stars say their names…

All in the name of a good time. Come back again, won’t you?

2024 Charleston Open Alison Riske-Amritraj Caroline Wozniacki Danielle Collins Daria Kasatkina Emma Navarro Jessica Pegula Maria Sakkari Monica Puig Ons Jabeur Paula Badosa Shelby Rogers Sloane Stephens