CHARLESTON, SC. – Virginia women’s tennis freshman Emma Navarro (Charleston, S.C.) is competing this week at the Volvo Car Open WTA tournament being held April 3-11 in Charleston, S.C.

Navarro topped World No. 147 Renata Zarazua of Mexico 6-4, 6-3 in a first-round singles match on Tuesday (April 6) on the Althea Gibson Court. It was the first WTA main draw win for Navarro, who had a wildcard entry into the tournament.

“I’ve been practicing basically my whole life, not specifically for this moment, but it’s always been my goal to just see how good I could be,” said Navarro. “It’s amazing. It’s really special in my hometown.”

She faced 15-seed Veronika Kudermetova of Russia on Wednesday (April 7) in the second round, being edged 6-4, 6-4. In the final game, Navarro trailed 40-15 but staved off two match points to tie it 40-40. She fended off another match point, sending it back to deuce before Kudermetova closed out the victory. Kudermetova is currently ranked No. 38 in the world rankings.

Navarro is also playing in the doubles draw. She and partner Caroline Dolehide picked up a 6-1, 6-4 victory over 3-seed Yifan Xu and Shuai Zhang to advance to the quarterfinals. In Thursday’s final match of the day, the tandem fell 6-4, 6-2 against Gabriela Dabrowki and Asia Muhammad.

Navarro, who began her collegiate career by winning her first 14 NCAA singles matches and has moved up to a No. 6 ITA ranking, holds a world WTA ranking of 479. The Charleston native finished 2019 ranked the No. 3 juniors player in the world, from a season that included a semifinals finish at the 2019 Junior Wimbledon Championships, a finals berth at the 2019 French Open Junior Championships and the singles title at the 2019 Adidas Easter Bowl. In 2018, Navarro won the 18 singles and doubles titles at the USTA National Clay Court Championships, which awarded her wild cards into the 2019 Volvo Car Open singles and doubles draws. The 2021 Volvo Car Open will be her second time competing in the event.

As the largest women’s-only tennis tournament in North America, the Volvo Car Open draw annually features the best players in the game. The WTA 500 event’s 56-player draw is made up of 43 direct entries into the tournament, five wild cards and eight qualifiers. The field includes World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza, 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin among others. The tournament’s singles player field features seven Grand Slam champions, five past Charleston champions and three current/former World No. 1 ranked players.

The 2021 Volvo Car Open will be held without fans due to the ongoing pandemic. The Tennis Channel will be providing full coverage of the event.