Pair of Russians join field at Family Circle
By James Beck
The Post and Courier
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Family Circle Cup
WHEN: April 12-20
WHERE: Daniel Island
TICKETS: Ticketmaster by phone (843-554-6060); ticketmaster.com
; any local Publix grocery store offering Ticketmaster services.
The Family Circle Cup's 35th anniversary field continues to grow stronger as former Daniel Island runners-up Elena Dementieva and Dinara Safina of Russia have officially entered the April 12-20 tournament.
Dementieva, the 2005 Family Circle runner-up, claimed the last spot in the top 10 this week after upsetting second-ranked Svetlana Kuznetsova in the Dubai final for her ninth WTA Tour singles title. Safina, ranked 15th, fell to Jelena Jankovic in last April's final of the $1.34 million tournament held at Family Circle Tennis Center.
The new entries give the Family Circle eight of the top 12 players in the world. Five other top 10 players are entered — 2003/2005 champion Justine Henin (No. 1), Jankovic (4), Anna Chakvetadze (6), 2004 winner Venus Williams (7) and Marion Bartoli (9). Serena Williams (11), Patty Schnyder (12) and 2006 champion Nadia Petrova (16) are also entered.
"Elena Dementieva and Dinara Safina are fierce competitors who have showcased their amazing talents in front of our fans, during the finals, at the pinnacle of the Family Circle Cup," tournament director Robin Reynolds said. "These women add a tremendous amount of depth to a world-class field headed to Charleston for our 35th anniversary celebration."
Dementieva, a 5-11, 26-year-old who owns a 10-5 Family Circle Cup record, won 2007 titles at Istanbul and Moscow as she enjoyed her eighth straight top 20 season. With more than $350,000 earned already this year behind a 10-3 record, Dementieva has more than $9 million in career earnings.
Safina, the 5-11, 21-year-old sister of men's tour star Marat Safin, has been ranked in the top 20 for the last three years. She has more than $3 million in career earnings. This will be Safina's third straight Family Circle appearance.
Reach James Beck