The penultimate WTA 1000 event of 2023 got under way on Monday. Much great tennis was played on the first day of the Guadalajara Open, including an opening round win for 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens. Wednesday will see the top eight seeds compete for the first time. That includes excellent competitors such as Ons Jabeur and Caroline Garcia. However, many of the players at the top of the women’s game are absent. We at LWOT already reported on five players to withdraw from the Guadalajara Open. Sadly, there are another five women missing. This includes the defending Guadalajara champion, and also three Grand Slam winners. The absent players are listed in this article, and also their five replacements.
Five Players Withdraw From Guadalajara Open
The Five Players Who Have Withdrawn
Coco Gauff is one of the biggest names to withdraw from the Guadalajara Open. However, it is not a major surprise. The 19-year-old is undoubtedly still reveling in the glory from her incredible triumph at the US Open. Almost any player would feel extra rest is needed after a Grand Slam win. But Gauff also played many long matches during her title run, making it even more pertinent.
Defending champion Jessica Pegula has also withdrawn from the Guadalajara Open. The six-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist did not give a specific reason for her decision. Pegula, who lost to Madison Keys at the US Open, will undoubtedly have wanted to play at the WTA 1000 event she won last year. Yet it seems likely she felt it was more worthwhile to rest for the Asian swing, due to the controversial scheduling of Guadalajara this year.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova is also not on the Guadalajara Open player list. Kvitova reached the second round last year. At the age of 33, the Czech player has to be even more careful with how she manages her body. Hence her decision is another one that is not a shock due to the scheduling.
2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu is the third Grand Slam winner not competing at the Guadalajara Open. Andreescu had to withdraw from the US Open due to a stress fracture in her back. It appears she has yet to fully recover from that injury. Hopefully the Canadian will return during the Asian swing.
Paula Badosa is another player who had to withdraw from the Guadalajara Open. This has been known for a longer period of time. The Spaniard ended her season in August due to a recurrent back injury, and is hoping to return stronger for the Australian Open in January.
Who Replaced Those Five Players in the Draw?
Gauff was replaced by Sofia Kenin in the Guadalajara Open draw. The 2020 Australian Open actually beat Gauff at Wimbledon earlier this year. Kenin also enters the tournament after a great run to the final in San Diego, narrowly losing to Barbora Krejcikova. Carol Zhao is her first round opponent.
Caroline Dolehide is the beneficiary of Pegula’s withdrawal. The American is making her third ever WTA 1000 appearance at the Guadalajara Open, but did reach the third round of Indian Wells on one of those previous occasions. Peyton Stearns is her obstacle in the opening round.
Iryna Shymanovich took Kvitova’s place in Guadalajara. It is the first time that the Belarusian has competed in the main draw at a WTA 1000 event. She has one Grand Slam appearance to her name at the French Open, reaching the second round. Storm Sanders is her first opponent at a WTA 1000 tournament.
Hailey Baptiste came into the draw at the Guadalajara Open after Andreescu withdrew. The 21-year-old took full advantage of that on Monday, beating home favourite Lya Fernandez Olivares in the opening round. A second round clash with two-time Grand Slam finalist Karolina Pliskova is her reward for that victory.
Finally, Yanina Wickmayer competed at the Guadalajara Open due to the withdrawal of Badosa. However, she fell in the first round on Monday. Wickmayer exited in straight sets to fellow Belgian Elise Mertens.
Main Photo Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports