Preview of Family Circle Cup Main Draw
World No. 7 and top seed Genie Bouchard headlines the 2015 Family Circle Cup singles draw, revealed Saturday afternoon.
Defending champion Andrea Petkovic, the No. 3 seed, helped in the making of the draw, and the German sits on the opposite half of Bouchard along with No. 2 seed Ekaterina Makarova, setting up what could be a blockbuster final weekend in Charleston.
Those three members of the WTA top 10 will be the names to watch, while clay court specialist Sara Errabni, seeded fourth, is the other top seed in Bouchard's half of the draw.
Up-and-coming American Madison Keys, the No. 7 seed, is Bouchard's potential quarterfinal foe in the top section of the draw that is teeming with American talent. Wild card Bethanie Mattek-Sands will play compatriot Sloane Stepehns in a must-see first round match, the winner drawn to perhaps play Bouchard in round three.
Former champions Jelena Jankovic and Sam Stosur are seeded sixth and ninth, respectively, and landed in the bottom half of the draw. Jankovic, a former world No. 1 is scheduled to meet Petkovic (her good friend and sometimes doubles partner) in the quarterfinals, while the Australian is a potential last eight opponent for Makarova.
Angelique Kerber and Caroline Garcia round out the top eight seeds, which come from seven different countries in an international Cup field.
Local hope Shelby Rogers, a 22-year-old Charleston native who joined Petkovic at the draw ceremony Saturday, meets Silvia Soler-Espinosa in the first round. That winner could face No. 14 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in round two.
In all, 13 Americans are in the draw, including No. 10 seed Varvara Lepchenko as well as rising stars Christina McHale, Madison Brengle and Lauren Davis. Davis will meet another American Grace Min in round one for the right to face Bouchard.
All eight top seeds receive a first-round bye at the Family Circle Cup, a Premier-level event on the WTA calendar. It is the lone event on the women's tour to be played on Har-Tru green clay, and helps kick off the two-month clay season, which culminates at the French Open next month in Paris.
Both Bouchard and Petkovic were semifinalists at Roland Garros a year ago, following a semifinal battle here in Charleston, won by eventual champ Petkovic. Petkovic made the final four at last week's Miami Open and won the sixth title of her career in February at the Diamond Games in Antwerp.
Keys, the Illinois native who had a breakthrough event at the Australian Open earlier this year, could face fellow American Alison Riske in round two as well as Lepchenko in the third round. Keys is coached by former world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport, a three-time Grand Slam champion.
Belinda Bencic, a fast-rising 18-year-old is the No. 12 seed and takes on Australian Casey Dellacqua to start. The Swiss standout was a surprise semifinalists here a year ago.
Qualifying matches continue Sunday while the main draw gets underway Monday.