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Marcell
Jan 31st, 2007, 10:16 PM
Sharapova Signs On For Charleston



01/31/2007

Maria Sharapova celebrated her return to the top of the rankings by joining a familiar Family. The reigning U.S. Open champion has officially entered the Family Circle Cup, set for April 7-15 at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C.


It will mark Sharapova's first appearance at the Tier 1 clay-court tournament since 2003 when the then 167th-ranked Russian played through qualifying to make the main draw before losing to Maja Matevzic in the opening round.

"I have very pleasant memories of my trip to Charleston four years ago and I'm looking forward to playing in the tournament and enjoying some time in the city," said Sharapova. "The Family Circle Cup has a great reputation on the Tour, especially with the players, so I’m excited to be coming back and starting my clay-court season at such a wonderful event."

The 19-year-old Sharapova regained the top spot in the rankings on Monday after her run to the Australian Open final, which came to an end with Serena Williams' 6-1, 6-2 victory.

With the addition of Sharapova, this year’s Family Circle Cup player field now boasts four of the top five players in the world including Justine Henin-Hardenne, Amélie Mauresmo and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

"Maria is one of the most sought-after players on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, and her commitment to play this event takes the Family Circle Cup to a whole new level," said Robin Reynolds, Family Circle Cup tournament director. "Not only is she the world’s top female player, but Maria is also a celebrity that transcends tennis, and we are very pleased that she’ll be here in April."

The Tennis Center features a 10,200 seat stadium, a grand lawn, 17 tennis courts, all lighted for night play, a racquet club featuring a full service pro shop and locker room facilities and a full service event management staff capable of handling all aspects of an event including ticketing, operations, sales, advertising, marketing, public relations, and food & beverage. Family Circle Cup tickets are available now via phone, on-line, or at Ticketmaster outlets. For tickets or more information on the Family Circle Cup or Tennis Center please call (843) 856-7900 or visit www.familycirclecup.com.

In The Zone
Jan 31st, 2007, 11:06 PM
Smart move. She gets some clay practice in while still in America and because this and Tokyo are usually some incredibly weak fields for Tier I's, easy points. Sharapova is the only top player who uses her head when it comes to scheduling.

sfselesfan
Jan 31st, 2007, 11:15 PM
Sharapova is the only top player who uses her head when it comes to scheduling.

This is a pretty bold statement, considering she had to miss nearly all of clay court season last year. Perhaps playing Indian Wells and Key Biscayne back to back isn't the best idea, especially if you're also planning on making a run at Charleston.

SF

iPatty
Jan 31st, 2007, 11:19 PM
Smart move. She gets some clay practice in while still in America and because this and Tokyo are usually some incredibly weak fields for Tier I's, easy points. Sharapova is the only top player who uses her head when it comes to scheduling.

hingis, henin, mauresmo, kuznetsova, and schnyder (all better clay courters than maria) are here this year.

that's weak? :confused:

goldenlox
Jan 31st, 2007, 11:25 PM
Where is Nadia, the defending champ?

Rocketta
Jan 31st, 2007, 11:52 PM
Charleston usually has a really strong field. :scratch:

Monica_Rules
Feb 1st, 2007, 12:10 AM
Yeah Charlston is usually a pretty tough draw.

nflatte
Feb 1st, 2007, 12:16 AM
Lol, and Sharapova thinks she can win this?! May we also stress that she has not won a clay court title in 6 years after turning pro.

UncleZeke
Feb 1st, 2007, 03:13 AM
Good for Maria. Good for Charlestown.

stevos
Feb 1st, 2007, 03:17 AM
I'm so glad, because ESPN covers this right?
Livestream :drool:

Lefty.
Feb 1st, 2007, 03:27 AM
I'm so glad, because ESPN covers this right?
Livestream :drool:

Yup, it should.

ioni
Feb 1st, 2007, 11:17 AM
Good for Maria. Good for Charlestown.

i agree ;)

ImaVeggie
Feb 1st, 2007, 11:57 AM
I'm so glad, because ESPN covers this right?
Livestream :drool:

What exactly does this mean? Is Livestream a way to watch the match online? Is it free? I'm fairly new to following matches online.