The Volvo Car Open is jumping on the Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) bandwagon. The Premier tournament, which is the biggest women's professional tournament in North America, will host a UTR-based Qualifying Wild Card tournament, starting on February 28 in Charleston.

"Our team is always looking to grow the game of tennis," Volvo Car Open director Bob Moran told Baseline. "Giving opportunity is really important and having the ability to do that is really important. [UTR] is not in regards to anything other than, 'What is your ability?'. Let's spread the word on UTR that we can to build a better tennis community."

The 32-player tournament removes age, location and ranking system restrictions by creating a field based on merit and UTR level. Any female player with a UTR of 10 or greater can enter, no matter if you're currently competing at the high school, junior, pro, college or league level.


"What we're seeing is just a great opportunity to build something that no one else is doing," Moran said. "That's something we hold our hat on: that we have to work a little bit harder than everyone else to be successful."

The winner earns a wild card into the qualifying draw of the pro event, which starts on March 30. Past champions include the likes of Kiki Bertens, Daria Kasatkina, Sloane Stephens, Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams.

The entry deadline for the UTR tournament is Wednesday at 11:30 p.m. EST.