Sunday, April 3, 2016

2016 Inaugural Volvo Car Open - Tennis Begins

Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo

A change of title sponsor means that in 2016 the name Volvo will now appear in all the places that we saw Family Circle Cup over the past few decades. When the Swedish carmaker announced that they will build an auto plant in the Lowcountry, they also pursued sponsorship of the women's pro tennis tourney on Daniel Island. The inaugural Volvo Car Open will now be held in the Volvo Car Stadium and a serious marketing campaign is underway all week where patrons can test drive new Volvo cars and find out more about our newest corporate neighbor in the Lowcountry.

FCC Stadium is now the Volvo Car Stadium
The first day of play on Saturday April 3 got underway at 11 a.m. after a one-hour rain delay. Rain had threatened to dampen the 39th annual Cooper River Bridge Run that same morning, but the rains fell overnight and by morning only clouds and some light drizzle remained. Saturday afternoon after 2 p.m. was a glorious cloud-free afternoon with sunny and warm conditions on Daniel Island for Family Day at the Volvo Car Open. The tourney pairings were decided at 3 p.m. with 2010 champ Sam Stosur and local favorite Shelby Rogers on hand to greet the fans and to make some photos.

No changes for the large American flag!
Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo defeated USA's J. Pegula in a hotly contested match on Saturday afternoon that saw the fiery Spaniard lose the first set, before winning the second set, and then holding off a surging Pegula to take the third set 7 - 5 and win the match. But Tormo's luck did not carryover into Sunday play, losing the day's first match against quality opponent Elena Visnina in straight sets.

American Samantha Crawford suffered a similar fate since she won her match on Saturday, but lost during her Sunday match. Crawford outplayed WTA veteran Patty Schnyder on Saturday, but the Swiss left-hander put up a good fight and seemed to be in command of her short game. Crawford's height and superior service game helped her to win, looking so many many other prototypical tall and lanky tennis athletes. But on Sunday Crawford lost to Cindy Burger of the Netherlands. Other players that advanced on Sunday include Kristina Kucova, Cagla Buyukakcay, Nomi Osaka of Japan, Sesil Karatantcheva, Lesley Kerkhove and Aleksandra Krunic.

To view past blog entries from the Family Circle Cup click 20152014- 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009.

Samantha Crawford hits a volley on Saturday
Patty Schnyder came out of retirement in 2016

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