Venus, Petkovic, Keys Headline Blockbuster Day 3 in Charleston

How do you spell “blockbuster” at the Volvo Car Open? W-e-d-n-e-s-d-a-y.

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Wednesday afternoon (and evening) pulls out all the stops for Day 3 of the tournament, with Venus Williams, Madison Keys, Belinda Bencic and Sloane Stephens in action during the day and 2014 champion Andrea Petkovic headlining the night.

If you ever needed to get over the mid-week blues, this is no doubt the best of cures.

Outside of Volvo Car Stadium, must-see names include Lucie Safarova, Genie Bouchard and the top doubles team in Charleston this year, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova on Althea Gibson Clubcourt.

And on Court 3, former champions Sabine Lisicki and Sam Stosur will both do battle in respective singles contests.

It’s the first time back for Venus since 2014, and the 2004 champion has been all smiles since she arrived in Charleston a few days ago. At 35 years old, she playing here for the eighth time, and is after her 50th career title overall. She’ll meet American Alison Riske, the first time the two have ever played. Riske, a Pittsburgh native, spent part of her teenage training years in nearby Hilton Head.

Keys, runner up here a year ago against Angelique Kerber, meets German Laura Siegemund to start the day off inside Volvo Car Stadium at 10am. The 21-year-old American has never met Siegemund, who at 28 is having the best results of her career.

Stephens follows her compatriot Keys, the former world No. 11 doing battle against the feisty Danka Kovinic, who made a run to the quarterfinals here last year as a qualifier. Then comes Venus-Riske, who are followed by Bencic vs. Elena Vesnina, a singles finalist here in 2011.

Elsewhere around the grounds, fans have a plethora of options in what quality tennis they would like to consume.

Australian Open success stories Daria Gavrilova and Zhang Shuai meet to start on Althea Gibson Clubcourt, before Safarova, the 2012 runner-up here, plays American wild card Louisa Chirico. Sara Errani, the No. 5 seeds, meets big-hitting Yaroslava Shvedova before Bouchard, a semifinalist here in 2014, plays Lourdes Domínguez Lino. Mattek-Sands/Safarova doubles closes the day on Clubcourt.

Fans can get an up-close look at Lisicki (second on Court 3) and Stosur (fourth on that same court), as well as Mattek-Sands in singles, who plays third on Court 3. Rising Russian star Daria Kasatkina starts the day at 11am on Court 4, followed by the American doubles duo of Raquel Atawo and Abigail Spears.

Where to watch and when? Well, that’s up to you. It’s clear on Wednesday that you can’t go wrong, no matter where you turn.