In this February 18, 2020 file photo, Sofia Kenin of the U.S. returns the ball to Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina during a match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
In this February 18, 2020 file photo, Sofia Kenin of the U.S. returns the ball to Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina during a match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.|Kamran Jebreili | Associated Press
Tennis

Tennis News: New Women's Credit One Bank Invitational announced including Madison Keys, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, and Sofia Kenin

This new event will present itself as some kind of quasi team competition which will spotlight 16 singles matches and 8 doubles matches.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

While a monster South Florida Thunderstorm wiped away the finish of the UTR womens round robin event in West Palm Beach, the disappointment of leaving the event unfinished was blunted somewhat by the announcement that a new event in Charleston, SC, to take place in mid-June will be placed on the Women’s calendar. Whereas global competition appears some distance away, domestic tournaments or exhibitions appear to be one avenue that both the players and the public seem ready to embrace as the desire for live athletic competition dominates thought right now. Tennis is doing what it can to make a comeback and to provide its myriad of fans what they want, while we Americans await the reappearance of our traditional professional team sports. We’re clearly not ready to get back to normal yet, but we’re making progress step-by-step.

This new event, the first Credit One Bank Invitational was announced as a tennis event that will present itself as some kind of quasi team competition which will spotlight 16 singles matches and 8 doubles matches, with each team captained by either Madison Keys or Bethanie Mattek-Sands, both Americans. The players committed to playing are headlined by the last two women’s grand slam event winners, 2019 U.S. Open Champion Canadian Bianca Andreescu and 2020 Australian Open Champion, South Florida’s own Sofia Kenin. Other players committed to playing in the event are Sloane Stephens, Amanda Anisimova, Jennifer Brady, Danielle Collins, Emma Navarro, Alison Riske, and Shelby Rogers, all Americans. They will be joined by Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic, former #1 Victoria Azarenka, and Canadians Genie Bouchard and Leylah Annie Fernandez.

No other information has been released as of yet. Left unsaid is who the “teams” that Keys and Mattek-Sands will lead will consist of, what type of scoring will be used, what the prize money will be, and who will be the presenters other than Credit One Bank. Since the announcement specifically mentioned 16 singles “matches”, not players and 8 doubles “matches”, not teams, it appears that each player will play in two matches— one singles and one doubles. The Tennis Channel appears to be ready to provide live TV coverage of the event, but whether they will be using drone cameras or a standard stationary crew was left unsaid. Nor have we discovered whether play-by-play announcers will be court-side and on site, or whether they will be in the Tennis Channel studios in Los Angeles, as they were for the UTR event. As the courts used will be on the site that the WTA has been playing at since 1973 in Charleston, it is assumed that the event will be played on the same Har-Tru courts that the women have grown to expect there.

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