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15,624 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Posted on Mon, Apr. 14, 2008
Tennis | Past champs return for 35th Circle Cup

Sharapova on a roll, among those heading to Charleston

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Whatever your favorite Family Circle Cup memory may be, chances are it will be recounted during this year’s tournament, which is celebrating its 35th year.
Past tournament champions Rosie Casals, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Conchita Martinez, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Iva Majoli will be present throughout the latter part of the week to take part in various celebrations, including a parade of champions immediately following Saturday’s second semifinal match.
Bud Collins will emcee the ceremony. Prior to the day’s first match, Collins will host “Breakfast with Bud” beginning at 10 a.m. He will spend an hour interviewing the former champions on the AT&T Fan Zone stage. There also will be a question-and-answer session for spectators.
“With six former champions returning for our 35th anniversary celebration, the 2008 Family Circle Cup is sure to create many unforgettable moments for our fans,” said FCC tournament director Robin Reynolds in a release. “Spectators will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the iconic players who’ve laid the groundwork to make this event the shining star it is today.”
Tuesday’s evening session will feature festivities that include performances by the Burke High marching band, The Citadel color guard, a commemorative video and the introduction of the tournament’s entire player field by Collins.
Serena Williams’ opening match will follow with fireworks at its conclusion.
As for the actual tennis, five of the world’s top 10 players will take part in this year’s tournament, including defending champion Jelena Jankovic. Other top players include Williams, Maria Sharapova, Anna Chakvetadze and Elena Dementieva.
With the numerous luminaries and festivities on tap this week, the tournament will be aiming to set a new attendance record. Last year’s nine-day tournament would have set a Charleston attendance record, but bad weather on the day of the championship left the event 476 fans shy of 2006’s record of 92,375.

15,624 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Serena has no problem with whom she plays

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

At the Cup

Serena Williams doesn't worry about the competition, and that was evident Monday when she arrived at the Family Circle Cup unaware that Justine Henin had withdrawn from this week's tournament.
"I thought she was in the tournament until you told me that," Williams said. "I'll play anybody with the exception of (Rafael) Nadal, (Roger) Federer and (Fabrice) Santoro. Other than that, I'm open for anybody."
Anybody could be No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova, if both she and Williams reach the quarterfinals, a pairing worthy of the championship round in most tournaments.
Williams likes her chances this week at the Family Circle Cup.
"I'm feeling really good about my game," she said. "I'm just taking everything a day at a time and not getting too excited or too depressed.
"I love playing on the clay. I have a lot of fun on the clay. And this is a good clay court. It's not too slow, it's not too fast and you can produce a good slide on it."
Venus in the house
Venus Williams is taking this week off as part of a brief hiatus from the WTA Tour, but Serena said her sister will be here to debut a new clothing line.
"She's here for a couple days this week, so you guys will see her around," Serena said. "We love it here. The people are so nice."
Television coverage
This year's event will be televised on ESPN2.
Thursday's and Friday's broadcasts are set for 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. both days.
Saturday's semifinals will be broadcast from 1 p.m.-3 p.m., and Sunday's championship will begin at 1 p.m.

15,624 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Serena Williams advances in Charleston

Published: April 15, 2008 at 11:38 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C., April 15 (UPI) -- American Serena Williams advanced in the second round Tuesday at the $1.34 million Family Circle Cup.

Williams defeated Argentina's Gisela Dulko 6-3, 6-4. Williams was the Charleston runner-up in 2003.

In other second-round action, Romanian Sorana Cirstea beat third-seeded Russian Anna Chakvetadze 6-2, 1-6, 6-2. Sixth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France survived a second-set loss to beat Australia's Casey Dellacqua 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.

Also, last year's Charleston runner-up Dinara Safina of Russia, defeated Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez Lino 6-1, 6-4. Tenth-seeded Hungarian Agnes Szavay beat Japanese Ai Sugiyama 7-5, 3-6, 6-4.

Safina lost to Serbian star Jelena Jankovic in last year's finale here.

15,624 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Williams moves on in second round play at Charleston

Charleston, SC (Sports Network) - Serena Williams easily advanced in the second round at the $1.34 million Family Circle Cup tennis event.
America's Williams, the fifth seed, easily advanced past Argentina's Gisela Dulko, 6-3, 6-4 on the green clay at Family Circle Tennis Center. Williams was the Charleston runner-up in 2003.
In other second-round action, Romanian Sorana Cirstea toppled third-seeded Russian Anna Chakvetadze 6-2, 1-6, 6-2, while France's Marion Bartoli, the sixth seed, survived a second-set loss to down Australia's Casey Dellacqua 7-5, 4-6, 6-1. Last year's Charleston runner-up Dinara Safina avoided an upset by leveling Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez Lino 6-1, 6-4 and 10th-seeded Hungarian Agnes Szavay held off Japanese Ai Sugiyama 7-5, 3-6, 6-4. The Russian Safina, seeded eighth this week, gave way to Serbian star Jelena Jankovic in last year's finale here.
In opening-round action involving seeds, No. 13 Belarusian Victoria Azarenka erased South African qualifier Chanelle Scheepers 6-1, 6-0; Ukrainian Tatiana Perebiynis ousted No. 14 Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues 4-6, 6-0, 7-5; Russian Anastasia Rodionova dismissed last week's Amelia Island runner-up Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 1-0; and France's Alize Cornet upended 16th-seeded Dutchwoman Michaella Krajicek 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. The 15th-seeded Slovakian Cibulkova retired Tuesday with a lower back injury.
In other first-round play, American Jill Craybas crushed American qualifier Varvara Lepchenko 6-2, 6-2, American wild card Bethanie Mattek beat Chinese Meng Yuan 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 and Romanian Edina Gallovits grounded American Meghann Shaughnessy 6-3, 3-0, as Shaughnessy quit with a leg injury. Mattek is rewarded with a second-rounder against red-hot Russian superstar Maria Sharapova. The high-flying Sharapova is an awesome 22-1 this season, including three titles in four events. She captured her third career major title at the Australian Open back in January and is fresh off her championship at Amelia Island last week.
Additional opening-round wins came for France's Aravane Rezai, Spaniard Virginia Ruano Pascual and Belarusian Olga Govortsova.
The 2008 Family Circle winner will earn $196,900.

15,624 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Serena casts aside Dulko, memories of last year's early exit

By Jeff Hartsell
The Post and Courier
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
They celebrated with fireworks Tuesday night on Daniel Island, and with good reason — tennis superstar Serena Williams' stay at the Family Circle Cup will be much longer than last year's 40 minutes.
Williams, seeded fifth at the Family Circle Cup and ranked ninth in the world, was pushed by 23-year-old Argentine Gisela Dulko, but chased down enough drop shots to prevail 6-3, 6-4 on a chilly night on Stadium Court.
Williams' victory put her into the third round, just one win away from a possible quarterfinal showdown with fourth-ranked Maria Sharapova.

"I just feel like it's good to win this match," Williams said after the noise from the postmatch fireworks died down. "I didn't play great on any level. I'm just glad it's over, to be honest, because I want to go to bed."
Last year at the Family Circle Cup, Williams was forced to retire with a leg injury just 40 minutes into her opening match. At 26, she holds eight Grand Slam titles, but still is seeking her first Family Circle Cup championship.
"I'm definitely glad that I stuck around longer this year than last year," she said. "I really want to be around a long time this year."
In the third round, Williams will face the winner of today's match between Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Katarina Srebotnik.
The 26-year-old Williams is coming off a dominating performance in winning her fifth Sony Ericsson title two weeks ago in Miami, looking as fit as she has in her career.
"I definitely feel that I'm in better shape, but for longevity instead of just a short time," she said. "I feel like every day I work to keep fit and to lengthen my career."
Her match with the 48th-ranked Dulko lasted a bit longer than Williams might have liked. In her first meeting with Serena, Dulko mixed up her shots effectively and made Williams run the court.
"She had a lot of variety," Williams said. "She would hit a winner and then she would hit really soft balls, and then she'd hit a drop shot and a slice."
Williams came out dressed for the weather, with black tights under a white skirt and a long-sleeve purple shirt. It took a while for her to warm up. She asked for quiet before serving to start the match, called for the chair umpire to check a mark on the second point (her appeal was denied) and netted two shots to lose her serve at love.
"I just got a slow start in general today," she said. "It was just — you know, it was cold and it was a late match. Those are just excuses I'm giving myself as to why I served bad."
Williams broke right back and then held for a 2-1 lead, but the two players traded breaks for the next five games, Williams taking a 5-3 lead. Serving for the set, she nailed a forehand and a service winner for 6-3.
The game of the match came with Dulko up, 1-0, in the second set. Williams had to fight off five break points, using the second of her five aces to hold off the final break point, and evened the set at 1-1.
Serena held serve from there, belting a 108 mph ace for two match points and clinching the match with a backhand to the corner.
"At least it wasn't windy," Williams said. "I think I'd rather play in the cold than in the wind, but I got really, really cold in the second set. Like, my body kind of froze, and I'm still in that frozen position right now."
Odds are, she'll warm up before that possible meeting with Sharapova. Williams has won four of her six meetings with Sharapova, including a 6-1, 6-1 trouncing in their last match, in Miami last year. One of Sharapova's two wins over Serena came in the 2004 Wimbledon finals.
If those two meet in the quarterfinals this week, that will be a match truly worth of fireworks.
"The grand finale!" Williams said as the fireworks sounded outside the press tent Tuesday night. "We should be watching this."

15,624 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Serena into quarters at Family Circle

  • April 18, 2008 - 8:04AM

Serena Williams advanced to the Family Circle Cup quarter-finals on Thursday, overcoming a sprained ankle to beat Slovenia's Katarina Srebotnik 4-6 6-4 6-3.
"I just kept making errors and it wasn't pretty out there," the fifth-seeded Williams said of her sluggish performance.
"It wasn't the best tennis for me."
Williams, seeking her third tournament title this year, will face second-seeded Maria Sharapova or unseeded Tatiana Perebiynis of the Ukraine in the quarter-finals.
Williams, ranked No.9 in the world, slipped and fell near the net when trailing 4-3 in the first set. She was unsure how the injury may affect her on Friday.
"You know when you're playing and the adrenaline, you really can't assess yourself until the next day," she said.
"It's kind of frustrating."
Defending champion and top seed Jelena Jankovic had an easier time, crushing unseeded Russian Anastasia Rodionova 6-0 6-2 in less than an hour.
In the quarter-finals, Jankovic will face ninth-seeded Vera Zvonareva who had a 6-4 4-6 6-1 win over sixth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France.
Tenth-seeded Agnes Szavay beat eighth-seeded Dinara Safina 6-2 7-5 and will face Alize Cornet in the quarter-finals. Cornet beat Sorana Cirstea 6-1 7-5.
Fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva also advanced, beating 13th-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-4 7-5. Dementieva will face No.7 Patty Schnyder or No.11 Agnieszka Radwanska.

15,624 Posts
Discussion Starter #7

Sharapova, Jankovic, Serena reach quarters in Charleston

Charleston, SC (Sports Network) - Australian Open titlist Maria Sharapova, top-seeded and defending Charleston champion Jelena Jankovic and former world No. 1 American star Serena Williams highlighted Thursday's third-round winners at the $1.34 million Family Circle Cup tennis event.
The second-seeded and former top-ranked Sharapova got past Ukrainian Tatiana Perebiynis 7-5, 6-2 in 1 1/2 hours on the green clay at Family Circle Tennis Center. Sharapova and Williams will do battle here in a blockbuster quarterfinal on Friday.
Williams is 4-2 lifetime against Sharapova, including wins over the Russian in their last three meetings. The two superstars have never met on clay.
The high-flying Sharapova is an awesome 24-1 overall this season, including three titles in four events. She captured her third career major title at the Aussie Open back in January and is fresh off her clay-court championship last week at Amelia Island.
Jankovic drilled Russian Anastasia Rodionova 6-0, 6-2, while a fifth-seeded Williams came from behind to beat 12th-seeded Slovenian Katarina Srebotnik 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Jankovic defeated Russian Dinara Safina in last year's Charleston finale, while Williams was the big winner at the so-called "Fifth Major" in Miami just two weeks ago.
The Serbian Jankovic will meet Russian Vera Zvonareva in the quarterfinals.
Fourth-seeded Russian Elena Dementieva dropped 13th-seeded Belarusian Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 7-5, while a ninth-seeded Zvonareva upended sixth-seeded Wimbledon runner-up Marion Bartoli of France 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 and 10th-seeded Hungarian Agnes Szavay ousted an eighth-seeded Safina 6-2, 7-5 on Day 4.
One other third-rounder saw France's Alize Cornet douse Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-1, 7-5. Cornet will face Szavay in the round of eight here. The 2008 Family Circle winner will earn $196,900.

978 Posts
Good luck with the rest of the tournament Serena.
Can anyone tell me when Venus is playing next?
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