Former champ Lisicki wins way into main draw through qualifying

Former champ Lisicki wins way into main draw through qualifying

It has been 14 years since Germany’s Sabine Lisicki made a magical run to the Credit One Charleston Open title in 2009.

That year, Lisicki didn’t drop a set on the way to her first career title with wins over Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki en route. Now 33, Lisicki is battling back from a series of injuries as she continues to climb up the WTA rankings.

She beat Katarzyna Kawa 6-7(1) 7-6(1) 6-3 to book her place in the main draw, which starts Monday, along with seven other successful qualifiers. Having undergone ACL surgery in 2020, she was unranked a year ago when she visited Charleston as part of a celebration of former champions.

Lisicki received huge cheers on the Althea Gibson Court as she won through, the 2013 Wimbledon runner-up now into the main draw in Charleston for just the second time in eight years (2019).

The qualifying field competed over a jam-packed MUSC Health Family Weekend at the LTP Daniel Island that saw lively crowds, with Americans Louisa Chirico, Kayla Day, Sachia Vickery and Hailey Baptiste joining Lisicki.

Chirico and Vickery are both looking to make their way back into the top 100, while Day – who is now 23 – is finding the form again that helped her reach the second round of the US Open in 2016.

Baptiste got her spot in the qualifying draw as an alternate when Taylor Townsend withdrew (having made the Miami doubles final). The 21-year-old scored two straight-set wins to book her place in the main draw for a second consecutive year.

Also through via qualifying are Paula Ormaechea of Argentina, Canada’s Katherine Sebov and Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany.