Inside the Tour with Nina and Irina — Charleston tournament director Bob Moran on Southern success

“That’s what we hold our hat on: We’ve got to work a little bit hard than everyone else to be successful.”

Charleston tournament director Bob Moran joins the Podcast with Nina Pantic and Irina Falconi. He shares the biggest challenges in running the Volvo Car Open (3:50) and all the ways the WTA Premier has been innovating each year like using the Volvo Car Open app to provide an in-seat concessions service (5:53).

Speaking of innovation, this February they held a UTR-based pre-qualifying event, allowing any female with a 10.0 or higher to compete for a spot in the qualifying draw. Jessica Ho, a 22-year-old Floridian who had a WTA ranking of No. 516 and a UTR of 11.79, won the wild card.

Moran talks a lot about how important building tennis in the community of Charleston is, and one much-loved member of that Southern community is Shelby Rogers. The 26-year-old made her comeback from knee surgery this week after 13 months off the tour (15:52).

The largest WTA-only clay event in the U.S. has a reputation for being the go-to spot to catch future stars. Past champions and finalists include the likes of Kiki Bertens, Sloane Stephens, Daria Kasatkina, Angelique Kerber and Jelena Ostapenko. Moran looks out for which youngster might be the next star, and even named Bianca Andreescu as one such potential act—notably before she won Indian Wells and withdrew from Charleston (24:31).

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