Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams to Miss WTA Stuttgart Open 2021

Published 03/25/2021, 3:30 PM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her fourth round match against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza REUTERS/Loren Elliott


The draw for the Stuttgart WTA 500 event for this year is out, and it features a heady mix of contemporary heavyweights in women’s tennis and up-and-coming stars.

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What’s more, the organizers have handed Latvian tennis star Jelena Ostapenko and Germans, Laura Siegemund and Andrea Petkovic, wildcards for the event.

The draw features as many as six players who are currently ranked inside the Top-10 and another six within the Top-20.

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Naomi Osaka will return to Tour action at Miami Open, still no Serena Williams

Two names that are conspicuous by their absence are current World Number 2 Naomi Osaka and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.

While 39-year-old Serena hasn’t featured in any Tour events since her heartbreaking loss to Osaka, the eventual champion, at this year’s Australian Open, the Japanese will return to Tour play at the Miami Open.

The list is headlined by current World Number 1 Ashleigh Barty, two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep, 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and Ukrainian star Elina Svitolina.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 18, 2021, Japan’s Naomi Osaka with Serena Williams of the U.S. after winning their semi final match REUTERS/Kelly Defina

It also features veteran Czech star Karolina Pliskova, who, by her standards, is going through a rough phase currently; Belarussian star Aryna Sabalenka and her countrymate and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, as well as Czech star Petra Kvitova.

Kvitova lifted her first WTA Tour title this year in Doha, but forfeited her tournament opener in Dubai to Jill Teichmann of Switzerland after suffering a mid-match injury. Back to full fitness now, the two-time Grand Slam champion will be eyeing her second title this year in the German city.

Reigning French Open champion Iga Swiatek will be keenly watched at WTA Stuttgart 2021

One player whose progress in the tournament would be closely observed by the tennis world is reigning French Open champion, Iga Swiatek.

The 19-year-old Pole left no one in doubt about her clay court game after a stupendous run to the title at Roland-Garros last year.

She did so without dropping a set, becoming the first from her country to lift a Grand Slam title. 

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The Pole followed up her French Open win with her maiden Tour title at WTA Adelaide International this year and would be itching to get cracking on clay again.

Swiatek was also the youngest French Open champion since Monica Seles.

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Also featuring in the Stuttgart draw is this year’s Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady, Swiss star Belinda Bencic, who was the losing finalist at WTA Adelaide; and Dutch tennis star Kiki Bertens.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

850 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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