Williams sisters added to Family Circle mix
By James Beck
The Post and Courier
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The Family Circle Cup appears to be on another drum roll for top 10 players after Monday's announcement that Venus and Serena Williams have entered the 35th anniversary event.
With the world's No. 7 Serena and No. 8 Venus, the April 12-20 event on Daniel Island now has four of women's tennis' top eight players scheduled to play as they join No. 1 Justine Henin and No. 4 Jelena Jankovic on the official entry list.
"Serena and Venus Williams are true champions who bring excitement to every tournament they enter," Family Circle Cup tournament director Robin Reynolds said. "Each sister has had great success at the Cup and they both have such a huge fan base here at this event. Having these two superstars enter our tournament makes our 35th anniversary even more special."
Eight-time Grand Slam tournament champion Serena Williams has appeared in four Family Circles, including 2003 when she lost to Henin in the final and last year when Williams retired from her first match with a groin injury. Venus won the 2004 Family Circle, and lost to eventual champion Jankovic in last year's semifinals.
Both sisters are defending champions of Grand Slam tournaments, Serena having come out of nowhere to win last year's Australian Open and Venus pulling a similar act at Wimbledon. Both are currently competing in the Australian Open, along with two-time Family Circle champion Henin and Jankovic.
"I really enjoy playing in Charleston and can't wait to return," Serena Williams said. "I have so many wonderful memories from that event both on and off the court."
Venus Williams, who has won 36 WTA Tour singles titles including six Grand Slam championships, said, "The Family Circle Cup is a great tournament and I really love spending time in Charleston. The environment at the tournament has always been great, and I look forward to coming back in April for another chance at the title."
The Family Circle Cup also started fast last year in player entries, but finished slowly in that area as its top five entries (Maria Sharapova, Henin, Amelie Mauresmo, Martina Hingis and Svetlana Kuznetsova) all withdrew prior to the tournament because of injuries.
Reach James Beck
at jdbeck @postandcourier.com or (843) 937-5540.
WHAT: Family Circle Cup
WHEN: April 12-20
WHERE: Daniel Island
TICKETS: Ticketmaster by phone (843-554-6060); www.ticketmaster.com;
any local Publix grocery store offering Ticketmaster services.