Thursday preview: With Elite 8 on the line, top seeds and challengers do battle

Thursday preview: With Elite 8 on the line, top seeds and challengers do battle

Thursday is another jam-packed day of tennis at the Credit One Charleston Open, with top seeds Sabalenka, Badosa and Pliskova among the favorites still remaining. Also still in: Former champ Madison Keys.

Thursday is the day when the tennis shifts into high gear.

Quarterfinal spots are on the line at the Credit One Charleston Open today, with Round of 16 action featuring top seeds Aryna Sabalenka, Paula Badosa and Karolina Pliskova – as well as 2019 champion Madison Keys.

No. 4 seed Ons Jabeur and No. 7 Leylah Fernandez will take to the court, as well, but with second round matches to finish after being delayed due to inclement weather on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Jabeur is a game away from victory against home hope Emma Navarro.

Thursday's Order of Play

Credit One Stadium’s line-up is akin to that of a late-stage Grand Slam day: No. 1 Sabalenka opens against big-hitting American Amanda Anisimova, followed by the 2019 winner here in Keys taking on Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic.

Keys leads their head-to-head 2-1, with the winner of the first set going on to capture the match each time.

Sabalenka earned her first win since February in a hard-fought victory over Alison Riske on Wednesday. She will have her hands full again when she takes on Anisimova, the American having won both of their previous meetings in 2019.

Fan favorite Madison Keys is the lone former champ remaining in the draw. (Photo by Chris Smith/Charleston Open)

2017 junior Wimbledon champion Claire Liu of the U.S. is having a banner week in her young career, the 21-year-old meeting world No. 3 – and the second seed here – Badosa.

Badosa has rocketed up the rankings since her run to the semis here a year ago: She was world No. 71 in April of 2021 and now is among the game’s elite.

“Of course you have more expectations and more pressure… but it’s the kind of pressure that I like because I’ve always dreamed of being one of the best players in the world,” the 24-year-old Badosa said earlier this week.

“Now I’m here. So I’m grateful for that.”

The evening session is set to feature two-time major finalist Karolina Pliskova, who will take on Ekaterina Alexandrova.

The docket on Althea Gibson Club Court is nothing to shrug at, either: No. 6 seed Jessica Pegula, who spent part of her childhood in Hilton Head, meets a resurgent Coco Vandeweghe, who is finding her form after battling injury away from the tour.

No. 12 seed Alize Cornet meets Anhelina Kalinina on that court, as well, while Kaia Kanepi awaits the winner of Fernandez against Magda Linette.

Doubles fans have plenty to cheer about on the day, as well, with former champions Sania Mirza (with Lucie Hradecka) and Alicja Rosolska (with Erin Routliffe) in action. Court 3 is the doubles place to be: Four doubles matches will feature from 11am.

Who will find their way into quarterfinal Friday? Today we find out.

See Updated Draws

Alicja Rosolka ALIZÉ CORNET Amanda Anisimova Aryna Sabalenka Belinda Bencic Charleston Coco Vandeweghe Emma Navarro KAIA KANEPI Karolina Pliskova Leylah Fernandez Madison Keys Ons Jabeur PAULA BADOSA