WTA PREVIEW | 2024 San Diego Open: Surfs up as Jessica PEGULA, Leylah FERNANDEZ and Caroline WOZNIACKI battle for unique trophy

Tuesday, 27 February 2024 at 08:34
copyright proshots 20300523
As the road towards the Sunshine Double continues, it is mainly tournaments in the US over the next week including the San Diego Open which is famous for its trophy which sees the winner collect a surfboard. Iga Swiatek and Barbora Krejcikova in particular have won the title in recent years, but with both absent a new player will collect the unique trophy.
Our preview looks ahead to the action at the San Diego Open which features Jessica Pegula, Leylah Fernandez, Caroline Wozniacki and Beatriz Haddad Maia all in action.

Pegula and Wozniacki both set to return

The main storylines this week in San Diego are that Jessica Pegula who is celebrating her 30th birthday as of writing will be involved and make her first appearance since the Australian Open. Despite pregnancy rumours being denied, she has had a neck injury in recent weeks and also will be acclimatising to not having long-time coach David Witt with her who she removed after the Australian Open.
Similar to Maria Sakkari, the conundrum will be who is in her box and like the Greek, will they look like Ryan Gosling much to Tennis Twitter's delight over Sakkari's new coach. But the ultra consistent American in a quality field but one where she is the out and out standout will look to regain lost points and momentum. A good start to the year was derailed by stomach flu in Adelaide and she was dumped out early in Melbourne, so the best of Pegula is still to come.
The same can be said for a certain Caroline Wozniacki who considering she is making a comeback and multiple big names like Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber and Emma Raducanu are all hunting for potential wildcards has made the bizarre move to not play for six months at a time. The Dane hasn't played since the Australian Open and snubbed the Middle East swing in favour of Indian Wells. Bizarre in that, she is hunting for an Olympic spot so won't do it without regular points and momentum.
She has received a late wildcard into the tournament and the likelihood is with the clay court season following swiftly on, she won't really be off court until the Olympic Games now. But she will aim to gain wins and like Pegula points. Leylah Fernandez has been gaining points and momentum and can be seen potentially as a favourite for this weeks' title. Superb runs in the Middle East have strengthened a superb back end to 2023 and she will aim to continue that. She is also joined in the field by Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Badosa, Kalinskaya and Muchova all missing

But not a leading trio. The tournament itself is already stacked full of talent but did not benefit from late withdrawals. Paula Badosa was left in tears last week and is seemingly having surgery on another injury continuing her torment.
While Anna Kalinskaya who had to play qualifying for Qatar last week is now up towards the higher echelons of the WTA Rankings and so will get in automatically going forward. But has likely decided to have a rest after a full on seven days in reaching the final. Karolina Muchova also is having surgery. So in reality, a field that could've been even better had all the players turned up. Ifs, buts and maybes, but a surfboard still up for grabs and a gauge for some ahead of Indian Wells. Surfs up!

Just In

Popular News