Friday, April 4, 2014

2014 Family Circle Cup - Thursday Sees WTA Stars Bounced

Errani ran all over Stadium Court with feverish play Thursday
Cepelova advanced by tracking down every ball
The week-long tennis tournament on Daniel Island began the day Thursday much like the famous martini drink ordered by 007 spy James Bond - the FCC was Shaken But Not Stirred. Gone from the line up was the world No. 1 Serena Williams after her poor play on Tuesday, but plenty of WTA veterans and FCC past champions advanced on Wednesday. But by sunset on Thursday only a few of the players we have come to know as contenders at the pro women's event in Charleston were left. In the first match of the day it was No. 3 seed Sara Errani of Italy defeating Peng of China. Errani has not even been to the FCC in several years, though her star is on the rise on the European courts, and her fiery play on Thursday shows that she can elevate her game to Championship level. Meanwhile on the Althea Gibson court WTA vet and No. 12 seed Daniela Hantuchova made easy work of her opponent, and then exited the court before the heat of the day. She earned a night match on stadium court on Friday in the Quarterfinals, and possibly has the surest route into the semis on Saturday, partly due to her schedule allowing her lots of rest and playing during the cooler hours of the day. Venus Williams was ousted by No. 6 seed Canada's Eugenie Bouchard in a stadium court match that saw flashes of brilliance from Venus, only to have youth served in the end. Jana Cepelova bested No. 13 seed Vesnina of Russia in a match where the veteran Vesnina just couldn't put it all together, playing easy winners on some shots and then missing easy volleys and giving herself a stern talking to in her native tongue. In other developments, past FCC Champ Sabine Lisicki was beaten by Andrea Petkovic, past FCC champ Sam Stosur was beaten by Lucie Safarova, and only past champion Jelena Jankovic advanced to the Quarters by beating an opponent in a match she was favored to win.

Bouchard warms up to the Stadium Court atmosphere
Friday's tennis matches begin with a doubles match at 11 a.m. followed by the Quarterfinals.
Bouchard VS. Jankovic
Safarova VS. Petkovic
Errani VS. Bencic
Cheers of - Way To Go Dani - follow Hantuchova
Cepelova VS. Hantuchova

To view past blog entries from the Family Circle Cup click 20142013201220112010, or 2009.

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