CHARLESTON, SC (October 16) — Samantha Stosur, World No. 9 on the WTA Tour, has become the first player to commit to the 2013 Family Circle Cup, March 30th – April 7th, 2013.
The 2013 tournament will become Stosur’s seventh appearance at the Family Circle Cup. She won the Family Circle Cup singles title in 2010, defeating Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-3, in just 52 minutes. Stosur also holds the doubles title for 2006 with Lisa Raymond.
“I’m excited to return to the Family Circle Cup again this year,” said Stosur. “It’s one of my favorite tournaments and whenever I get the chance to play in Charleston, I always look forward to it.”
The 28-year-old top-ranked Australian has notched more than 390 career singles victories, been ranked as high as World No. 4 and amassed total career earnings of $11,291,537. Most notably, Stosur won the 2011 US Open.
“The Family Circle Cup is thrilled to welcome Sam back for the seventh time,” said Eleanor Adams, Family Circle Cup Tournament Director.“She is a fan favorite here in Charleston, and as a Top 10 player, a true force in the WTA.”
In August, Stosur was asked by TennisIDENTITY what tournament she most enjoys outside of the Grand Slams. In which she responded,
“One that always stands out is Charleston. I love playing there. It’s just a really nice club and everybody in that town seems to really get behind the tennis and the stands are full from first rounds to the final. I actually think it’s the longest running WTA event so they know what they’re doing and they treat us very nice and they’ve got some of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to in that town”.
For the first time in the Cup’s 41-year history, locals have the chance to Select-A-Seat for the tournament, on October 18th from 4pm – 8pm. This event gives an opportunity for locals to choose from the best seating inventory before it becomes available to the general public. For more information on Select-A-Seat, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/380967868639959/.
Tickets to the 2013 Family Circle Cup go on-sale to the general public on October 19that 10am EST on TicketMaster.
—A. Jolly, FCC
Sweet as a Georgia Peach: Melanie Oudin, @IrinaFalconi Advance to 2nd round of @RolandGarros For 1st Time #RG12
Melanie Oudin and Irina Falconi, two of Tennis East Coast’s favorite players, were both set in for early first round singles matches this morning by Roland Garros schedulers. It meant an early rise on the East Coast for fans, but it also started the French Open in a very good way for American tennis.
Oudin dispatched Johanna Larsson of Sweden 3 and 3, and was clearly elated to notch her first-ever main draw singles win at Roland Garros.
Falconi started slower, but found her form in a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Edina Gallovits-Hall of Romania. She also claimed her first win on the famed ‘terre battue’. Falconi has a date with Sam Stosur in the second round, while Oudin will face the winner of Sara Errani/Casey Dellacqua.
Both players have Georgia connections. Oudin is a Marietta native and Falconi was a Georgia Tech All-American who now lives in Atlanta.
As a fan, I couldn’t have asked for a better start. There are a lot of Americans who wish they could have filled the empty seats at Roland Garros today.
19-year-old Christina McHale was praised for her potential by 2011 US Open Champion Samantha Stosur as reported by this blog last week. She lost a first round match to Aleksandra Wozniak, 5-7, 7-5, 4-6 last Monday in Charleston, and caught up with the tennis media shortly afterward. In the presser, she talked a lot about her career on clay.
“It’s been a decent twelve months for me”, she said, trying to stay upbeat even as the obvious disappointment of an early exit at the Family Circle Cup was still very close to the surface.
What clay warm-ups should we expect before Roland Garros?
“I think my first one will be Madrid, and then Rome, and then the one right before the French (Brussels), so hopefully, I’ll be feeling better on the clay by then.”
Memories and thoughts about clay play?
They had a 12s Super National that was on clay, so I think that was the first time I played a tournament on clay. If I practice on it more, I think my game could adapt well to it. I like the clay, I have to get used to sliding more, because I’ve never been that great at sliding, but I like it.
What’s she working on?
“I’ve been working on my serve, trying to get it more consistent and a little bit more power on it. Also, my court positioning, trying not to get so far back.”
On training at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New
York with Melanie Oudin:
Mel’s a good friend of mine. We haven’t really had too much time to practice together because I’ve been at tournaments, so we’ve missed each other. It’s nice, because everyone else is pretty young there so it’s nice to have someone else my age there.
So, does this mean Christina does not consider herself young?
Forgive me for laughing.
She’s the darling of the East Coast and the nation. Just don’t even think about calling her a kid.
Video of her play in the first round Charleston match is found below. If you want to know who’s asking the questions in the presser video up top, let me stop you right there and warn you that you have no challenges remaining. Their identities are revealed in the youtube desciption.
Sam Stosur is Wonder Woman. After completing more than half of last night’s match this morning against Voskoboeva, she went on to knock off Venus Williams in the quarterfinals only hours later. Tomorrow, Stosur will go for the Williams Exacta in attempting to knock off both Williams Sisters in successive singles matches. That will be known as the Real Final, with the 2 seed and the 5. The other semi, between the 14 and 9 seeds, will see Polona Hercog against Lucie Safarova. It was this close for Hercog to be picked as Tennis East Coast Dark Horse to Win it All, but Wickmayer was settled upon at market close. I swear.
It will be interesting to see what Safarova does tomorrow. Will she be tomorrow’s Wonder Woman, or will the conventional wisdom of “singles before doubles” rule the day?
ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, APRIL 07, 2012 STADIUM start 11:00 am A Medina Garrigues (ESP) / Y Shvedova (KAZ) vs N Grandin (RSA) / V Uhlirova (CZE)
Not Before 1:00 PM  S Williams (USA) vs  S Stosur (AUS)  P Hercog (SLO) vs  L Safarova (CZE)  L Huber (USA) / L Raymond (USA) vs [WC] A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) / L Safarova (CZE) – After suitable rest
Day 1 winners include Benesova, the Pliskovas, Domachowska, Duque-Marino, Brengle, Craybas, Amanmuradova, Uhlirova, Ormaechea, Rogers, Lucic, Cabeza Candela, Larcher de Brito, Garcia, Hlavackova, Rampre, Chan and Giorgi. Five matches are still being played. More details to follow, including tomorrow’s Order of Play.
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.
Tennis Maryland is pleased to announce that we’ll be providing on-site coverage of the first half of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina from March 31-April 3, 2012. We’ll be there for all 36 qualifying matches and the first two days of main draw play. If there’s a player you’d like to see featured, speak up now. The draw ceremony will also be covered next Saturday afternoon.
Unfortunately, Anna Chakvetadze, Romina Oprandi and Bethanie Mattek-Sands have withdrawn from the tournament due to injuries. Chakvetadze was also forced to throw in the towel at Indian Wells and Miami due to back pain and Oprandi previously took a pass in Miami with a right knee injury. Mattek-Sands announced her intention to withdraw on Twitter last week due to a “hip/back injury”.
In the case of Mattek-Sands, she was a Tennis Maryland interview waiting to happen. Alas, it will not. She was even set to take part in a charity auction whereby one lucky bidder would practice with her, lunch with her, toss the coin at her first match and walk off with a signed racquet. All proceeds were to benefit MUSC Children’s Hospital in Charleston. There’s been no word yet on whether Mattek-Sands will be replaced by another WTA player in the charity auction.
The withdrawals don’t exactly weaken the field. 16 of the top 35 players in the world remain in the draw, including notable top 20s Agnieszka Radwanska (#4), Sam Stosur (#5), Marion Bartoli (#7), Vera Zvonareva (#10), Serena Williams (#11), Sabine Lisicki (#13), Jelena Jankovic (#15) and Julia Georges (#17).
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.