The tour turns back to clay for a pair of International events; how will the fields fare at the Ladies Championship Gstaad and the BRD Bucharest Open?
WTA Staff

GSTAAD, Switzerland/BUCHAREST, Romania - The third Grand Slam of the season is in the books and you know what that means: it's back to the clay for a brief European swing before the summer hardcourts begin in earnest in Stanford and Washington, DC.

Check out all the top storylines you need to know heading into the Ladies Championship Gstaad and the BRD Bucharest Open!


1. Garcia headlines Gstaad field after stellar summer at the Slams.
Caroline Garcia made her much-anticipated major breakthrough at home, making the second week of Roland Garros for the first time and pushing eventual No.1 Karolina Pliskova to two tough sets in the quarterfinals. Backing that up with a titanic effort against British No.1 Johanna Konta at the All England Club, the French youngster returns to Gstaad as the top seed, opening against Elitsa Kostova.


2. Bertens back on beloved clay in Gstaad.
2016 French Open semifinalist Kiki Bertens is the No.2 seed in Gstaad, and last year's runner-up is already into the second round, where she'll play qualifier Anna Zaja for a spot in the quarters.

3. Can Kontaveit keep up blistering form?
Anett Kontaveit has been the story of the spring, winning her first title at the Ricoh Open on grass after earning wins over Garbiñe Muguruza and Angelique Kerber on clay. The Estonian came within two points of upsetting Caroline Wozniacki at Wimbledon, and will open against Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan as the No.3 seed in Gstaad.


Apparently Estonians eat more cheese than Swiss people.. can't even tell I like cheese from this face 😳🧀😋#funfact

A post shared by Anett Kontaveit (@anett_kontaveit) on

4. Golubic kicks off first title defense in Gstaad.
Viktorija Golubic saved some her best tennis for home soil in 2016, going undefeated in Switzerland between Fed Cup and her maiden title run in Gstaad. Seeded No.7 this week, she will play her first match against qualifier Antonia Lottner with top seed Garcia her projected quarterfinal opponent; she could also face the winner of the all-Swiss match between wildcards Amra Sadikovic and former World No.7 Patty Schnyder.

5. No holes in Witthoeft's steady Swiss rise.
German star Carina Witthoeft completed a box set of Grand Slam third round appearances at Roland Garros, and got one match shy of Wimbledon's second week against Elina Svitolina. Starting the year pushing then-No.1 Angelique Kerber to three sets at the Australian Open, Witthoeft will likely be one to watch in Gstaad, where she's already into the second round and will play Slovak Rebecca Sramkova.
 


6. Sevastova returns to Bucharest as top seed.
Anastasija Sevastova kicked off her summer to remember at the BRD Bucharest Open, reaching the final and going on to make the quarterfinals of the US Open. The Latvian has gone on to earn impressive results on all surfaces, including the semifinals at the Mutua Madrid Open. Headlining the field in Romania, Sevastova opens against the always dangerous Jana Cepelova.

7. Can Suárez Navarro kick start her season on clay?
Carla Suárez Navarro was up to a career-high ranking of No.6 last February before injuries took their toll on the Spanish veteran, who fell in the second round of Wimbledon to Peng Shuai. Seeded No.2 in Bucharest, Suárez Navarro is picking up where she left off on her favorite surface, closing in on a win over Annika Beck.

8. Goerges vs Glatch in Bucharest.
Julia Goerges is the No.3 seed after an impressive run to the Mallorca Open final before Wimbledon. The German opens against American veteran Alexa Glatch, who has been ranked as high as No.102 but has been snake-bitten by injuries throughout her career. The winner will face rising Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who edged past local wildcard Irina Bara in straight sets.

9. Strong home field soldiers on.
Top-ranked Romanian Simona Halep and Wimbledon doubles finalist Monica Niculescu may not feature in the draw this year, but the field is still rife with talented Romanians, led by former French Open quarterfinalist and Rogers Cup runner-up Sorana Cirstea, who is the No.6 seed in Bucharest. Not far behind is No.7 seed Irina-Camelia Begu, who will open against junior prodigy Ivana Jorovic in the first round.

10. All-Romanian face-off in the doubles draw.
Speaking of Begu, the hometown favorite will pair countrywoman Raluca Olaru in doubles, but might not have all of the crowd on their side as they face two other Romanians in their first match against Ana Bogdan and Elena-Gabriela Ruse. No.2 seeds Elise Mertens and Demi Schuurs are coming off a run to the Round of 16 at Wimbledon, and will play another Romanian team in wildcards Georgia Craciun and Alexandra Dulgheru.