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tennisIlove09
Apr 12th, 2003, 11:42 PM
Family Circle fans have to hunker down
By GENE SAPAKOFF
April 12 2003
The Post and Courier

Too bad John Facenda isn't alive because the deliberate, baritone voice of vintage NFL Films fame would be ideal for the 2003 Family Circle Cup highlight film:

"And on the cold tundra of Daniel Island, Lindsay Davenport survived not only Vera Zvonareva but also elements as formidable as the Green Bay Packers front four and Vince Lombardi himself."

Last year, the Family Circle Cup was about sunshiny heat and humidity so oppressive it made box seat patrons seek shade.

This week has been mostly wind-chill in the 40s, drizzle, cold and ...

What was that Friday afternoon?

Could it be?

Yes, A patch of blue sky!

Stock down: Ice cream, cold soda, Gatorade.

Stock up: Hot chocolate, nice people willing to push stuck automobiles out of the quagmire parking lots nearest Family Circle Magazine Stadium, mud flaps.

Being a tennis fan in Charleston means having to remember both stocking caps and sun screen. Just like a ski trip to Vail.

WELL WORTH IT

The reward for the hearty tennis enthusiasts who have hunkered down in November football weather has been great tennis. We haven't even reached the semifinals yet and already fans have seen the best of Serena Williams, the emergence of potential star Ashley Harkleroad, three straight-set wins for Davenport, a sweet comeback for former Family Circle Cup champion Mary Pierce and 46-year-old superstar Martina Navratilova showing the kids a thing or two about doubles play.

Most impressively, the tournament has managed through five days of unseasonable, unpredictable weather to stay on schedule going into today's matches.

The pathways inside the facility are remarkably dry. Shuttle busses run on time to and from (paved) parking lots.

The green clay courts are in splendid shape. A spirited crew of volunteers makes the whole thing work.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

You know tennis conditions are sub-ideal when ESPN coverage of Friday's Davenport-Zvonareva match opens and announcer Mary Joe Fernandez is wearing gloves.

But look at the bright side.

More bright sun and warmer weather is forecast for today and Sunday.

Fans attending matches in blustery, London-like weather this week could pretend they were at Wimbledon, minus the strawberries and cream.

For every lonely guy trying to sell Italian ice, there was someone in the Wachovia tent signing people up for new credit cards -- with the lure of a free umbrella.

"We have a welcome addition to our booth today," ESPN's Pam Shriver said Friday. "We have a space heater."

Ah, another piece of silver lining spread out over a national television audience. Fooled by the odd weather, maybe fewer people will want to move here.

Colin B
Apr 13th, 2003, 12:25 AM
Hunker down? I thought that had something to do with going to the toilet (or 'bathroom' as you call it over there).

Rocketta
Apr 13th, 2003, 01:29 AM
The pathways inside the facility are remarkably dry. Shuttle busses run on time to and from (paved) parking lots.

Ok, thats just a flat out lie!! There are no paved parking lots for the fans. You park in big fields. The parking lot for the people with parking passes was so muddy that there was almost a horrible accident so it was closed down two of the three days I was there. The parking lot was so muddy that at the end of the day when we was going back one poor person's car was covered in mud cause apparently somebody was stuck and was spinning their wheels and completely covered the other car's windshields and all in mud. I would've taken a picture if it wasn't on the opposite side of my car.

Maybe the media had a paved parking lot but the general public did not. However, the shuttles were reliable and plentiful. They actually added buses so people wouldn't have to wait in the rain.

c2
Apr 13th, 2003, 01:52 AM
Colin - no , over here "hunker down" is kind of like "batten down the hatches" ... i.e. get rready for a big storm.

ROCKETTA i'm green... you got to go!

Colin B
Apr 13th, 2003, 02:13 AM
Colin - no , over here "hunker down" is kind of like "batten down the hatches" ... i.e. get rready for a big storm.

Thanks for clearing that up c2. I thought that maybe there'd been a sudden attack of diarrhoea or something! LOL

(Sorry, just British 'lavatorial' humour)

faboozadoo15
Apr 13th, 2003, 02:47 AM
"Hunker down, grab a bottle, and pray for daylight!"- a quote from a very bad party...

Rocketta
Apr 13th, 2003, 04:11 AM
Colin - no , over here "hunker down" is kind of like "batten down the hatches" ... i.e. get rready for a big storm.

ROCKETTA i'm green... you got to go!

Yeah the one tournament kind of close to me so I'm going to try to go every year.