Agnieszka Radwanska was upset in straight sets yesterday by 20 seed Roberta Vinci, ending the Poles bid for a first Grand Slam title. She’s had a great year and was obviously disappointed in failing to reach the quarterfinals. Also upset yesterday was Angelique Kerber, who began her rise to the top of the women’s game at the 2011 US Open. She fell to 2012 Roland Garros finalist Sara Errani. That sets up an all-Italian quarterfinal, with the winner likely to be mauled by Serena Williams in the semis.
Tonight, US standard-bearer Andy Roddick might play his last professional tennis match. Then again, he might not. A-Rod faces his toughest challenge yet in 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro. If the pressure is really off his back, expect Roddick to see yet another night under the bright lights of Arthur Ashe after a four set win over JMDP.
This is the Big Story at 11. As in, this is the last post of the night.
Grunting. You either don’t mind it or more likely, it annoys you. 2011 US Open Champion Sam Stosur had this to say about that. She also enjoyed practicing with New Jersey’s Christina McHale and believes that McHale has a bright future, after a question on direct examination from this blog. Stosur, #5 in the world, became the top seeded player at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston as a result of the withdrawal of Agnieszka Radwanska on Sunday, news which just so happened to have been broken to the tennis-sphere by this little blog on Twitter.
Unless my eyes are lying, everyone’s here now except Bartoli, because Aga withdrew.
Jill Craybas, Karolina Pliskova, Paula Ormaechea, Mariana Duque-Marino, Akgul Amanmuradova, Melanie Oudin, Yaraslava Shvedova, Camila Giorgi, Iveta Benesova and Mirjana Lucic have already punched their tickets into the Family Circle Cup main draw. Craybas’ victory over Madison Brengle was a lopsided match at 6-4, 6-2. Charleston’s Shelby Rogers yielded to Paula Ormaechea of Argentina in a 7-5, 6-3 decision despite incredible crowd support for Rogers. Mariana Duque-Marino cruised past Marta Domachowska of Poland 6-4, 6-3, Karolina Pliskova entered the main draw with a 6-4, 6-2 drubbing of Michelle Larcher de Brito and Akgul Amanmuradova defeated Vladimira Uhlirova 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Also, Yaraslava Shvedova outlasted Andrea Hlavackova 7-6, 7-5, Camila Giorgi escaped Yung-Jan Chan 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-3, Mirjana Lucic advanced over Estrella Cabeza Candela 6-2, 6-2, and #1 seed Iveta Benesova lived up to her top ranking with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over Kristyna Plisova.
Melanie Oudin dominated throughout her match against Petra Rampre 6-3, 6-2. Oudin’s high energy level was evident in her long win last night and it would have been a shocker if she were not to have qualified this afternoon. The Althea Gibson Court crowd was so overwhelmingly Oudin, even the owls and herons overhead were heard calling her name.
CLICK FOR THE NEW DRAW! MDS (1)
Some Seeded Players to be Repositioned in Singles Draw as Prescribed by WTA Regulations
Charleston, S.C. (April 01, 2012) – Agnieszka Radwanska was forced to withdraw from the Family Circle Cup due to a back injury. Marking the tournament’s 40th year, the Family Circle Cup is being held through April 8, 2012 at the Family Circle Tennis Center in the Best Tennis Town in America, Charleston, S.C.
“We’re as disappointed as our fans to lose our top seed, and we wish Agnieszka a quick recovery”said Bob Moran, Family Circle Cup Tournament Director. “We have an outstanding player field that includes six former champions and many of today’s biggest names in women’s tennis.”
Several seeded players within the Singles Main Draw will be repositioned as prescribed by WTA regulations:
If the No. 1 seed withdraws the following must take place.
The 3rd seed ( MARION BARTOLI ) will take that spot
The 5th seed ( SERENA WILLIAMS ) takes the open 3rd seed position,
The 9th seed ( LUCIE SAFAROVA ) takes the 5th seed position,
The 13th seed ( NADIA PETROVA ) takes the 9th seed position.
The next player to be seeded ( MARINA ERAKOVIC ) will take the open 13th seeded position, and
The next eligible player into the draw ( a QUALIFIER or LUCKY LOSER as qualifying is currently in progress ) takes the remaining position created by this move.
These moves are done to create a balanced draw prior to the release of the schedule of play
“’I'm very sorry that I can’t play in Charleston this year. I played there a few years ago and was really looking forward to returning,”said Radwanska. “I know it is a great event and a beautiful city, so hopefully I can come back and play there next year.”
“While I am excited that I won the Sony Ericsson Open I am disappointed that I have to withdraw from the Family Circle Cup in Charleston. I was really looking forward to playing the event this year.”added Radwanska.
Sony Ericsson Open Champion Agnieszka Radwanska has withdrawn from the Family Circle Cup tournament, according to tournament officials. Radwanska, the #1 seed at the tournament, had not disclosed a reason for the withdrawal at the present time. But we imagine she’s suffering from dehydration, exhaustion and jubilation. WTA Rules require a reshuffling of position, whereby Marion Bartoli will move into Aga’s spot in the draw. Instead of playing the winner of Vesnina and Dubois, she will now move to Aga’s place and face the winner of Dushevina/Qualifier. More details to follow and FamilyCircleCup.com is working on the big story right now.
UPDATE: It apparently WAS a back injury as a twitter follower pointed out yesterday. The draw will be affected for many players, including Bartoli, Serena Williams, Safarova, Petrova and Erakovic.
“I’m very sorry that I can’t play in Charleston this year.” Radwanska added.
FamilyCircleCup.com Straw Poll Results
2,168 votes cast (67 % reporting)
- Lisicki, Sabine 595
- Williams, Serena 568
- Radwanska, Aga 449
- Stosur, Samantha 175
- Goerges, Julia 128
- Jankovic, Jelena 121
- Bartoli, Marion 67
- Zvonareva, Vera 65
The Family Circle Cup Straw Poll is still too close to call as of 7:00 a.m.
At first, we were mystified that Sabine Lisicki was a close second to Serena Williams in FamilyCircleCup.com’s “I’m excited to watch this top 8 seed…” poll. Then, yesterday, Lisicki took a small but significant lead over Serena Williams.
It turns out that there’s a Karl Rove in the mix, better known as the Twitter account of @TeamSabine. The group garnered Lisicki’s camp a couple of hundred votes in the last few days. Based on our exit polling demonstrating the SuperPAC influence of @TeamSabine, Tennis East Coast is close to projecting that Sabine Lisicki will win the South Carolina Straw Poll at FamilyCircleCup.com when all the votes are counted.
The most interesting race is for last place, as Marion Bartoli, the only player to defeat world #1 Viktoria Azarenka this year, pulled two votes ahead of former world #2 Vera Zvonareva for the 7th spot.
The WTA South Carolina Primary is Sunday, April 8.
Seven of the women playing today in the Sony Ericsson Sweet 16 are headed to Charleston next week for the Family Circle Cup. Of the Charleston top seeds, only Vera Zvonareva, Jelena Jankovic and Julia Goerges have been eliminated from contention in Miami. Zvonareva looked terrible in a career-low loss to Muguruza-Blanco and Jankovic lost to Mona Barthel last week after having been bounced from Indian Wells two weeks earlier by Jamie Hampton. At least Julia Goerges doesn’t have to hang her head low after suffering defeat from Kim Clijsters in Key Biscayne. Based on their most recent past performances, we’re definitely not picking Bepa or Jelena in our Family Circle Cup bracket.
It’s early, but I’d look for a Sony Ericsson semi-finalist to win it all in Charleston. Too often the winner (or finalist) of a two-week tournament is too weakened to make another run to raise a second consecutive trophy.
Sam Stosur, Marion Bartoli and Agnieszka Radwanska should all be able to make deep runs at Charleston given their recent play. Our wild card will be Yanina Wickmayer. She’s had her ups and downs of late, but it is good to see her playing in the second week of a tournament for the first time in a long time. Besides, she could put those 470 WTA points for the winner to the best use of all the contenders.
The main draw selection show for Family Circle Cup will be covered at this site and tweeted @TennisEastCoast next Saturday from 3:00 p.m. EDT on the Grand Lawn of the Family Circle Tennis Center.
The grandmother of women’s tennis tournaments begins in just ten days time. The Family Circle Cup is not only the longest running tennis event with the same sponsor, it is also the first women’s professional tennis tournament to have offered $100,000 in prize money.
East Coast tennis fans have been fortunate to have such an event for forty years. So much has changed in that time (Virginia Slims, anyone?), but the Family Circle Cup is still the premier women’s event on the East Coast.
The Family Circle Cup’s stadium on Hilton Head Island was the very first tennis stadium that I ever saw, way back in 1989. Since 2001, the Cup has resided on Daniel Island in the City of Charleston.
The qualifying draw was expanded from 32 to 48 for 2012, with 12 women qualifying for the main draw.
That means a very exciting first weekend, with 24 saturday matches and 12 on Sunday. Also on Saturday, the main draw will be selected from the grounds of the tournament. It will be open to the public and held during a match day, which is unusual and very welcome news to fans.
Agnieszka Radwanska is expected to be the top seed. 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur, Grand Slam Queens Serena and Venus Williams, and former world #2 Vera Zvonareva headline a very competitive main draw. Venus was the recipient of a wild card as was Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Three wild cards remain for the main draw.
On the qualifying side, Americans Sloane Stephens, Jill Craybas, Julia Cohen, Coco Vandeweghe, Jamie Hampton, Varvara Lepchenko and Alison Riske are expected to compete. Riske, who lives in Hilton Head, should be a crowd favorite. We can’t say she’ll be a bigger crowd favorite than 16 year-old Hayley Carter from South Carolina, who nabbed the first qualifying wild card. Five more qualifying wild cards are up for grabs.
You can check out the entire field in this handy police-style photo array compliments of the Family Circle Cup. Click on the Family Circle Cup logo at the top of this article to purchase tickets.
Cardiac Kid Christina McHale Barely Fails to Repeat as Quarter Finalist at Indian Wells; Hampton Retires #bnppo12
What a day of ups and downs for the USA WTA contingent. The sole surviving American interests in the women’s part of the BNP Paribas Open faced significant drama and yes, ’swings’ of all kinds.
First, Jamie Hampton, the New South’s new tennis darling (after ignominious hard times for Melanie Oudin), had placed #5 Agnieszka Radwanska in a difficult spot. After giving away the first set, Hampton rallied to win the second in the breaker and clearly had the momentum. Then, Hampton gave way and retired in the third set, yet another victim of the Infamous Indian Well Water Bug.
But the toughest news of today is that Christina McHale, our Mid-Atlantic sister, lost in dramatic style against 2011 US Open Semi-finalist Angelique Kerber of Germany. It was another topsy-turvy match for McHale, who won a comeback three-setter on Sunday against 2011 Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova. Today’s final score of 3-6, 6-3, 6-7(4) was even a tighter loss than the tight win McHale notched against Kvitova. McHale and her Navy failed to sail forward to face the winner of Kirilenko/Petrova, who play later tonight. Kerber will face that winner. But tonight, it was McHale who showed an aura of grit and determination about her that suggests that she will do much greater things in her career than simply getting back to a second straight Quarterfinal in Indian Wells.