Shelby Rogers Wins on Return Home: ‘I Felt Pretty Free Out There’

Shelby Rogers Wins on Return Home: ‘I Felt Pretty Free Out There’

Credit One Charleston Open, Credit One Stadium

The scoreline didn’t matter. There was a ‘W’ next to Shelby Rogers’ name.

Monday night (April 1), the Mount Pleasant native returned to her home event at the Credit One Charleston Open after a roller-coaster 12 months saw her miss much of the second half of the 2023 season due to surgery… before getting married in December.

But the home hope was in vintage form in front of familiar fans, winning 6-1 6-1 in just 73 minutes over fellow American Claire Liu, who was dealing with injury of her own coming off of a qualifying effort over the weekend.

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Rogers was in devastating form, dropping serve just once and breaking six times with her fearless forehand, using the drop shot at times to wrong-foot her younger compatriot. She’ll next meet Veronika Kudermetova, the 2021 champion in Charleston.

“So happy to be home and competing; lots of good vibes out there,” said Rogers, now 31 and in her 10th appearance at her home event. “I felt pretty free out there. I wasn’t trying to put too many expectations on myself. I just wanted to really soak up the moment and try to enjoy competing as best as I could, fight for every point, try to play the way that I like to play and how I play my best tennis. So I think I did a lot of those things tonight.”

Rogers arrives with the unfamiliar feeling of being the No.2 local, with Emma Navarro now the world No.20 and the 10th seed here. Rogers tips her hat to the accessibility of this event for young girls to dream big – including the dream of being a pro tennis player.

“I think without this tournament here, I would not have been exposed to professional women’s tennis,” she said. “I think when it feels accessible, it’s really helpful. It doesn’t feel like it’s a dream that could never come true. It feels like, ‘Okay, it’s right here in my backyard. I can see it with my eyes.'”

Rogers has played sparingly since missing the back half of last year, losing in the first round of the Australian Open before falling in qualifying in Austin. She notched her first WTA win last May in Miami just two weeks ago.

“Something I’ve really tried to focus on this comeback, the last few matches I played, is smiling a little bit more on court,” Rogers added.

Rogers and Kudermetova have split their three previous meetings, Shelby leading 2-1. This is the first time they’ll face off on clay, however.

2024 Charleston Open Claire Liu Shelby Rogers
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