WTA tour event began in Switzerland on Monday
Lugano, Switzerland – The WTA tour returns to Switzerland this week with Lugano hosting the SAMSUNG Open Presented by Corner.
Last year's champion Markéta Vondroušová is back to defend her crown, but the Czech will face stiff competition from the 31 other players in the Main Draw, which includes eight top 40 players.
Top seed at the event is France's Kristina Mladenovic, who reached the quarterfinals of last year's French Open.
She also reached the final of the US Open doubles tournament in 2016 and the quarterfinals of the singles tournament at the same event a year earlier.
That experience will stand her in good stead as the tournament moves from a hard to clay court in 2018 following a successful first edition of the event in Biel last year.
Viktoria Golubic, Jil Teichmann and Timea Bacsinszky are the players who will be carrying the hopes of the host nation on their shoulders.Bacsinszky put in a good performance on clay at last year's French Open, reaching the semifinals before succumbing to eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.
Golubic has also seen success on clay, claiming the 2016 Ladies Championship Gstaad in front her home fans.
For 20-year-old Teichmann it will be another chance to build her experience as she continues to rise through the ranks.
Behind the scenes
They will manage 200 volunteers from the Lugano region who will help ensure the successful implementation of the tournament.
There will be a digital feel to this year's tournament, with SAMSUNG bringing their experience as the main sponsor and naming partner.
They will also be heavily involved in fan-focused activities in the public village as will presenting sponsors, Lugano-based Cornèr Bank.
Autograph sessions will be held daily at 16.30 from Monday in the village, with Swiss tennis legend Martina Hingis also providing pre and post-match analysis at 17.00 and 19.00 each day. These will take place in the public village on the first two days and then the VIP tent for the rest of the week.
Hingis will also play in a doubles event in collaboration with Blick on Thursday afternoon.
For fans not lucky enough to be in Lugano, Swiss broadcaster SRG will be showing one live game per day.
Worldwide, the tournament will be broadcast on 105 TV stations, and reach a cumulative audience of over 500 million people.
In addition, there will be 40 accredited journalists on site telling the story of the tournament as it unfolds.
InfrontRingier Sports & Entertainment Switzerland is collaborating with Octagon on the Samsung Open, with responsibility for the organization and the marketing rights, national media rights and the exclusive hospitality area of the tournament.