(April 5, 2013) CHARLESTON, SC – Ticketholders to Friday’s day session got quite the schedule after rain forced the Family Circle Cup to cancel its Thursday day session due to rain.
Seven singles matches were held on Friday, and rain only slightly held up play between earlier during the first match on Althea Gibson Court.
Billie Jean King Stadium may as well have been renamed Williams stadium for the day as Venus and Serena Williams combined for four straight matches on the main court.
Venus first needed three sets to get past Vavara Lepchenko 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 before Serena took the court against Mallory Burdette. In the pair’s first meeting, Burdette cracked four aces and kept the match competitive throughout but fell 6-4, 6-2 in 77 minutes.
Burdette said she was pleased with how she played against the world #1. “I’m very happy with the way that I played today and how far I’ve come since I turned pro last fall. I love playing against the top players to see how you match up. That was really, really fun, and it’s always a great learning experience.”
Once Serena won, it was Venus’ turn to play again on Billie Jean King stadium. She faced another American in teenager Madison Keys, who had beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands 7-6(4), 6-4 earlier Friday. Keys and Venus have similar games, but Venus’ experience saw her win her second match of the day 6-4, 6-4.
Keys had this to say about Venus following the match: “She’s an amazing returner. Just put a ton of pressure on me on my serve. She can move well and she has a good serve, so it’s hard to get on the offense.”
Venus says she had played more than one match a few times in her career and hoped the crowd enjoyed the Williams show. “I was thinking it’s a quadruple header today,” she said. “Hopefully that was a lot of fun for the fans. I don’t know if that’s ever going to happen again. I hope it doesn’t. But it was a really cool thing for the tournament to do to kind of just reward the crowd for hanging in there through this weather.”
The final Williams match of the day was a rematch of the 2012 Family Circle Cup final between Serena and Lucie Safarova. In that match, the Czech managed one game but today’s contest was much tighter as Williams lost her serve twice and had to come back from 2-4 down in the first set. The world #1 said she was motivated by her sister’s victories.
“I figured if she can win two matches, I have no excuse not to win my two matches,” Serena said. “Obviously I play Venus. She’s my toughest opponent I’ve ever played, and I think she’s beaten me the most of any player.”
Serena and Venus have not faced each other since the WTA Championships in Doha in 2009, where they actually played twice, with Serena winning both matches (in round robin and the final). Serena leads their head to head 13-10.
In the bottom half of the draw, Jelena Jankovic won her ninth straight clay match of the season in quickly ousting Genie Bouchard of Canada 6-1, 6-2 for her 500th career victory. She joins both Williams sisters, Tammy Tanasugarn, Nadia Petrova, Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta as active players who have more than 500 wins.
“It’s a great achievement to get my 500th win on the WTA Tour, and hopefully I can have many more,” Jankovic said. “It’s nice. I don’t know how many players have done that, and in order to have 500 wins, I think you have to have a pretty long career, be pretty consistent.”
Jankovic will play Stefanie Voegele who upset Caroline Wozniacki.
Serena and Venus are scheduled for a 1pm start on Saturday, followed by Jankovic – Voegele.
Stephanie Neppl is in Charleston covering the Family Circle Cup for Tennis Panorama News. She spends all her spare funds traveling to tennis tournaments and has played since her teen years. She has worked as Social Media Manager for Tennis Auckland’s ATP and WTA tournaments. Follow her live updates on Twitter at @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal Twitter @stephintheus and her blog http://ihaveatennisaddiction.blogspot.com.
FAMILY CIRCLE CUP – CHARLESTON, SC, USA
MARCH 30 – APRIL 07, 2013
RESULTS – APRIL 05, 2013
Singles – Quarterfinals
 S Williams (USA) d  L Safarova (CZE) 64 61
S Voegele (SUI) d  [WC] C Wozniacki (DEN) 36 64 63
 V Williams (USA) d M Keys (USA) 64 64
 J Jankovic (SRB) d [Q] E Bouchard (CAN) 62 61
 S Williams (USA) d [Q] M Burdette (USA) 64 62
 V Williams (USA) d  V Lepchenko (USA) 62 46 62
 L Safarova (CZE) d  S Cirstea (ROU) 63 57 61
M Keys (USA) d [WC] B Mattek-Sands (USA) 76(4) 64
Doubles – Quarterfinals
A Barty (AUS) / A Rodionova (AUS) d  R Kops-Jones (USA) / A Spears (USA) 64 36 10-6
K Mladenovic (FRA) / L Safarova (CZE) d  V King (USA) / L Raymond (USA) 76(5) 61
M Moulton-Levy (USA) / S Zhang (CHN) d  J Goerges (GER) / Y Shvedova (KAZ) 57 63 10-5
ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, APRIL 06, 2013
BILLIE JEAN KING start 1:00 pm
 S Williams (USA) vs  V Williams (USA)
 J Jankovic (SRB) vs S Voegele (SUI)
 A Hlavackova (CZE) / L Huber (USA) vs M Moulton-Levy (USA) / S Zhang (CHN)
K Mladenovic (FRA) / L Safarova (CZE) vs A Barty (AUS) / A Rodionova (AUS)