'Tennis Play for Peace’ Pro-Am to benefit Ukraine

More than a year since her last tennis match in Miami, Ukrainian Elina Svitolina will return to the WTA Tour at the 2023 Credit One Charleston Open. She was awarded a wild card entry into the main draw.

Svitolina gave birth to her first child in October and focused much of her time and energy on bringing awareness and support to her home country amidst the war in Ukraine. In continuation of these efforts, Svitolina partnered with the Charleston Open and WTA Charities to host a special Tennis Plays for Peace Pro-Am in April, benefitting Ukraine and the Elina Svitolina Foundation. 

The Tennis Plays for Peace initiative seeks “to bring the tennis community and fans together to support the humanitarian relief efforts for the war in Ukraine.” The tournament, in conjunction with WTA Charities, hosted a Pro-Am in 2022, raising $100,000 in donations for relief efforts in Ukraine.

“Increasing awareness and raising funds for Ukraine is very important to us as a tournament and to our players,” said Bob Moran, tournament director of the Credit One Charleston Open and president of Charleston Tennis LLC. “We are passionate about working with Elina, who has a deep and personal understanding of the needs in her home country right now, to further exemplify the mission of Tennis Plays for Peace and stand united with Ukraine.” 

Svitolina is Ukraine’s most accomplished women’s tennis player. Her tennis career includes 16 WTA titles and she has advanced to the quarterfinal round or better at least once, in all four Grand Slams. In 2019, she appeared in both the Wimbledon and US Open semifinals. 

The 2023 Credit One Charleston Open will be her second time in the field, reaching the third round in 2014. 


American and 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin was awarded a main draw wild card. 

Kenin joins fellow Grand Slam champions Aryna Sabalenka, Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens and Jelena Ostapenko in the field. Charleston’s player field features five of the world’s top 10 players, including World No. 2 Sabalenka, World No. 3 Jessica Pegula, World No. 5 Ons Jabeur, World No. 8 Daria Kasatkina and World No. 9 Belinda Bencic.

“Adding Sofia to our already strong player field reinforces the level of talent that will be on display in April at the Credit One Charleston Open. As a Grand Slam champion and former top 10 player, we are happy to support her return to tennis competition after injuries,” Moran said. “Our attendees are in for a great nine days of tennis in April, where the best in women's tennis will be in competition at the Credit One Stadium.”

Kenin was named the 2020 WTA Player of the Year following an impressive season that included her Australian Open victory and a finals appearance at Roland-Garros. With her Australian Open title, she became the youngest American to win a Grand Slam women's singles title since Serena Williams in 1999.

The 24-year-old has five career WTA titles and has been ranked as high as World No. 4. This is her fourth appearance in Charleston’s main draw.

And watch for the March 30 issue of The Daniel Island News for a complete fan guide for the 2023 event.

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