Vandeweghe, Chirico lead 10 Americans set to play for spots in Charleston main draw
Comebacks continue for Americans Coco Vandeweghe and Louisa Chirico. Top seed Heather Watson kicks off Sunday’s play with nine main draw spots at stake.
American Louisa Chirico was reveling being back in front of the Charleston crowd on Saturday at the Credit One Charleston Open.
Having been ranked as high as 58th in the world in 2016, Chirico, now 25, has seen her career interrupted by injuries and layoffs, and is playing this week as the world No.300.
She won her opening round qualifying match, beating fellow American Caroline Dolehide, the No.5 seed, 6-3 3-6 6-3 on the Althea Gibson Club Court in front of a packed crowd for the first day of full action amidst Family Weekend festivities.
“I love that court, I have some really good memories there,” said Chirico, who made the third round of the main draw in 2016. “I’m grateful to be back. I was out for a year with a rotator cuff injury, but my shoulder is doing better.”
“I love coming here. Everyone does such a great job with the tournament. … I’m blown away by the renovations. And the fans are so awesome; they love tennis here.”
In total, 10 Americans won on Saturday. The second and final day of qualifying is set for Sunday, where nine main draw places are at stake. Former world No.9 Coco Vandeweghe is among them, as are qualifying seeds Robin Anderson, Grace Min, Sachia Vickery, Jamie Loeb, Allie Kiick, Francesca Di Lorenzo and Catherine Harrison.
Top seed Heather Watson of Great Britain won, beating Elizabeth Halbauer 6-3 6-1. No.2 Christina McHale of the U.S. faltered, however, losing to Nadiia Kichenok, 6-3 4-6 6-4.
Sunday is set to feature the second and final day of qualifying for said main draw spots. Play will get underway at 11:00am local time, with Watson set to feature on Club Court against Ulrikke Eikeri (WR 281) of Norway.