San Diego Open preview: WTA stars are back under the California sun

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Top WTA talents are playing in California for the third time this year. Whereas Indian Wells and the Silicon Valley Classic are long-established stops on Tour, the San Diego Open is a new addition to the calendar. The WTA 500 event is headlined by world number one Iga Swiatek, who played the finals in Ostrava on Sunday.

coco gauff san diego open

The first quarter of the draw is chock full of Grand Slam winners and talent, including Swiatek, Elena Rybakina, Garbine Muguruza, Bianca Andreescu, and Coco Gauff. While Gauff does not have a major title to her name, she does potentially have one big advantage going into this tournament. Gauff has been onsite in San Diego, acclimatizing to courts just down the street from SeaWorld and the Pacific Ocean. Meanwhile, many of her competitors have been playing indoors in the Czech Republic.

The second quarter is headlined by fourth seed Jessica Pegula. She is joined by fellow Americans — the local Coco Vandeweghe, Sofia Kenin, and Madison Keys. Wildcard Leylah Fernandez is there as well, taking on Daria Kasatkina in the first round. Kasatkina has had some of her biggest successes on California hard courts, including winning the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in August.

The bottom half of the draw is a bit more open, headlined by Aryna Sabalenka and Paula Badosa. The only Grand Slam champion in the bottom half is Sloane Stephens, who triumphed at the 2017 US Open.

Main-draw play begins Monday at 11:30 local time when Madison Keys takes on Australian qualifier Ellen Perez.

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