October 7, 2015

Kerber Takes Home Family Circle Cup

Angelique Kerber

(April 12, 2015) Angelique Kerber rallied from 1-4 down in the third set, winning six of the last seven games to defeat Madison Keys and win the Family Circle Cup in Charleston 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 on Sunday.

For the German Kerber, this was her fourth career WTA title, her first since capturing Linz in 2013.

“It’s unbelievable,” Kerber said. “To win here after the really difficult weeks I had, I’m feeling great. Last year I had four finals and I didn’t win any of them, so it’s great that I actually won this one today. It’s just been a great week for me here. Everybody is so nice, and I’m really happy about my game.”

“Coming off tough losses at Indian Wells and Miami, I’m happy I kept a great attitude this week, and I was just fighting as hard as I could today,” said the 20-year-old American Keys. “I could have gone either way after the first set, but I dug deep and still put myself in a position to win. But she just wasn’t making any mistakes at the end.”

The win for Kerber was a bit of revenge – last June Keys defeated Kerber in three-sets in the final of Eastbourne for her first WTA title.


Sania Mirza Becomes First Woman from India to top the Doubles Rankings

Miami Open Tennis - Day 14 Hingis and Mirza

(April 12, 2015) On Sunday Sania Mirza has become the first woman from India to reach the top of the WTA double rankings.

The 28-year-old Mirza reached No. 1 by virtue of teaming with Martina Hingis to win the Family Circle Cup title, beating Casey Dellacqua and Darija Jurak 6-0, 6-4. The victory marks three straight title wins for the pair – Inidan Wells, Miami and now Charleston.

“It’s a dream for every kid to be No.1 one day,” Mirza said. “I can’t think of a better person to do it with. When we came here we had one thing in mind, to get No.1, and she really helped me get there. She helped me through some tough moments this week. She’s just a great person and a great player. We also become the No.1 team in the world today with this.


“I hope we have many, many more tournaments and end the year on a high as well.”


This is the 26th title of Mirza’s career. Mirza was the first woman from India to win a WTA singles title,  the first to reach the third and fourth rounds of a major, the first to surpass $1 million in career prize money, and the first to win a Grand Slam title of any kind when she claimed the 2009 Australian Open mixed doubles title with countryman Mahesh Bhupathi.



Andrea Petkovic Wins Family Circle Cup


(April 6, 2014) In a week full of surprises in Charleston, 14th seed Andrea Petkovic won the Family Circle Cup for her first WTA Premier level tournament title with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Jana Cepelova of Slovakia on Sunday. This is her third WTA tournament crown, first in three years since she won the Strasbourg title in 2011.

Petkkovic knocked out three top ten seeds on the road to the title – No. 4 Sabine Lisicki, No. 9 Lucie Safarova and No. 6 Eugenie Bouchard.

The German who was once No. 9 in the world before being beset by injuries, is currently at No. 40 in the world will move into the top thirty with the victory.

No. 78 Cepelova beat No. 1 Serena Williams in the second round of the tournament. She’ll see her ranking rise into the top 50 for the first time.

At the end of the match Petkovic dropped on the ground in celebrations before she came to the net and hugged her opponent.

“I don’t know why but I just sort of broke down,” Petkovic said. “I was happy. Normally I don’t cry when I’m sad – I cry when I’m happy, strangely, so it’s weird, but I don’t know. I was just so relieved and proud that I’ve come back from all these injuries, and I never thought I would play in the finals of the big tournaments again, and so I was just proud and happy and everything just sort of came together.”

Petkovic takes home $120,000 for the win.


Bouchard Tops Venus Williams at Family Circle Cup


Eugenie Bouchard

Eugenie Bouchard

(April 3, 2014) Eugenie Bouchard rallied past Venus Williams 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-4 to reach the Family Circle cup quarterfinals in Charleston.

The No. 6 seed Bouchard fought off two set points in the first set, but the former world No. 1 Venus Williams took four out of the next five games to close out the set. The 33-year old Williams took over in the second set, and took a 2-1 lead in the third. The 20-year-old broke Williams’ serve twice in the third set including the last game to take the match, winning five out of the last seven games of the match.

“I think I’ve shown to myself how mentally strong I can be,” Bouchard said to media “Today was really a mental battle. It was a bit ugly at times and tough on the court, but I fought through it.”

Bouchard explained that she raised her game and held her own during the crucial points during the match.

It was a challenging week for No. 11 seed Venus Williams who suffers from Sjogren’s syndrome. Williams said she was ill  with a “bug” and it limited her stamina during her matches. She was forced to rally in her first two matches.

Bouchard will play No. 2 seed Jelena Jankovic next.

RESULTS – APRIL 03, 2014
Singles – Third Round

[2] J Jankovic (SRB) d A Tomljanovic (CRO) 75 61
[3] S Errani (ITA) d S Peng (CHN) 76(6) 76(5)
[14] A Petkovic (GER) d [4] S Lisicki (GER) 61 60
[6] E Bouchard (CAN) d [11] V Williams (USA) 76(6) 26 64
[9] L Safarova (CZE) d [7] S Stosur (AUS) 36 64 64
[12] D Hantuchova (SVK) d T Pereira (BRA) 62 63
J Cepelova (SVK) d [13] E Vesnina (RUS) 76(4) 36 63
[Q] B Bencic (SUI) d E Svitolina (UKR) 67(4) 64 61

Doubles – Quarterfinals

[3] R Kops-Jones (USA) / A Spears (USA) d [WC] J Jankovic (SRB) / A Petkovic (GER) 64 16 16-14
[PR] H Chan (TPE) / Y Chan (TPE) d [WC] S Cirstea (ROU) / M Kirilenko (RUS) 63 46 10-8
First Round
M Erakovic (NZL) / A Parra Santonja (ESP) d [1] S Hsieh (TPE) / S Peng (CHN) 54 Retired

BILLIE JEAN KING start 11:00 am
M Erakovic (NZL) / A Parra Santonja (ESP) vs A Medina Garrigues (ESP) / Y Shvedova (KAZ)

Not Before 1:00 pm
[6] E Bouchard (CAN) vs [2] J Jankovic (SRB)
[9] L Safarova (CZE) vs [14] A Petkovic (GER)
[3] S Errani (ITA) vs [Q] B Bencic (SUI)

Not Before 7:00 pm
J Cepelova (SVK) vs [12] D Hantuchova (SVK)
A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Rodionova (AUS) vs [4] J Goerges (GER) / A Groenefeld (GER)


Venus Williams Battles Back, While Sloane Stephens Falls in Charleston

Venus celebrates

(April 2, 2014) A day after the upset of her sister Serena, Venus Williams had to battle back in both sets of her 7-5, 7-5 win over Chanelle Scheepers to move into the third round of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston on Wednesday.

No. 28 Venus Williams who said that she is ill on Tuesday, said that she’s dealing with it.

“I’m still dealing with the bug, but my goal is just to hang in there until it hopefully goes away and then I can just continue to play my way into the tournament and play stronger,” she said to media “But it’s definitely a challenge.”

Venus Williams suffers from Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease.

No. 18 Sloane Stephens fell to teenager Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-4 earlier on Wednesday. For the Ukrainian who is ranked 35 in the world, it’s her fourth win over a top 20 player. The others include Svetlana Kuznetsova, Roberta Vinci and Eugenie Bouchard.

RESULTS – APRIL 02, 2014
Singles – Second Round
[2] J Jankovic (SRB) d L Davis (USA) 60 63
[3] S Errani (ITA) d [Q] K Bertens (NED) 63 00 Retired
[4] S Lisicki (GER) d V King (USA) 75 46 63
E Svitolina (UKR) d [5] S Stephens (USA) 64 64
[11] V Williams (USA) d C Scheepers (RSA) 75 75
[12] D Hantuchova (SVK) d [Q] G Min (USA) 62 63
[13] E Vesnina (RUS) d P Cetkovska (CZE) 36 62 64
[14] A Petkovic (GER) d L Dominguez Lino (ESP) 60 60
S Peng (CHN) d [15] M Keys (USA) 61 67(3) 76(4)
A Tomljanovic (CRO) d [16] S Zhang (CHN) 46 76(4) 63
[Q] B Bencic (SUI) d M Erakovic (NZL) 62 61

Doubles – First Round
[PR] H Chan (TPE) / Y Chan (TPE) d [2] K Peschke (CZE) / L Safarova (CZE) 64 64
[3] R Kops-Jones (USA) / A Spears (USA) d [Alt] J Gajdosova (AUS) / S Zheng (CHN) 63 36 11-9
A Medina Garrigues (ESP) / Y Shvedova (KAZ) d [WC] E Bouchard (CAN) / T Townsend (USA) 67(0) 63 10-7
A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Rodionova (AUS) d M Lucic-Baroni (CRO) / N Petrova (RUS) 62 26 10-3

BILLIE JEAN KING start 11:00 am
[3] S Errani (ITA) vs S Peng (CHN)

Not Before 1:00 pm
[6] E Bouchard (CAN) vs [11] V Williams (USA)
[14] A Petkovic (GER) vs [4] S Lisicki (GER)
A Tomljanovic (CRO) vs [2] J Jankovic (SRB)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[7] S Stosur (AUS) vs [9] L Safarova (CZE)
[WC] S Cirstea (ROU) / M Kirilenko (RUS) vs [PR] H Chan (TPE) / Y Chan (TPE)

ALTHEA GIBSON start 11:00 am
[12] D Hantuchova (SVK) vs T Pereira (BRA)
J Cepelova (SVK) vs [13] E Vesnina (RUS)
[Q] B Bencic (SUI) vs E Svitolina (UKR)
[1] S Hsieh (TPE) / S Peng (CHN) vs M Erakovic (NZL) / A Parra Santonja (ESP)
After Suitable Rest – [3] R Kops-Jones (USA) / A Spears (USA) vs [WC] J Jankovic (SRB) / A Petkovic (GER)


Serena Williams Ousted in Charleston

Serena Williams

(April 1, 2014) Serena Williams, fresh from her Sony Open win on Saturday, fell in her opening match at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston on Tuesday night to world No. 78 Jana Cepelova 6-4, 6-4.

Serena told media after the match: “I’m really just dead. I need some weeks off where I don’t think about tennis and kind of regroup. I’ve had a long couple of years, and I’m really a little fatigued.”

I think Jana played really well for her today,” she said. “The good thing is I know I can play a lot better. So it’s always really positive for me.”

“It wasn’t my day. It wasn’t meant to be.”

Sister Venus Williams had to struggle, but made it past Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-3, 0-6, 7-5.


RESULTS – APRIL 01, 2014
Singles – Second Round

J Cepelova (SVK) d [1] S Williams (USA) 64 64
[6] E Bouchard (CAN) d [Q] A Kudryavtseva (RUS) 62 60
[7] S Stosur (AUS) d Y Shvedova (KAZ) 63 57 61
T Pereira (BRA) d [8] S Cirstea (ROU) 36 63 76(0)
[9] L Safarova (CZE) d V Razzano (FRA) 26 64 64
First Round
[11] V Williams (USA) d B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 63 06 75
[12] D Hantuchova (SVK) d [WC] S Rogers (USA) 75 75
[13] E Vesnina (RUS) d A Schmiedlova (SVK) 62 61
[14] A Petkovic (GER) d [Q] L Tsurenko (UKR) 67(2) 64 61
[16] S Zhang (CHN) d S Hsieh (TPE) 36 76(5) 76(0)
S Peng (CHN) d C Garcia (FRA) 62 63
M Erakovic (NZL) d [WC] N Petrova (RUS) 46 63 64
L Dominguez Lino (ESP) d A Medina Garrigues (ESP) 63 62
V King (USA) d J Glushko (ISR) 46 75 63

Doubles – First Round

[4] J Goerges (GER) / A Groenefeld (GER) d J Husarova (SVK) / V Lepchenko (USA) 62 67(3) 10-5
[WC] J Jankovic (SRB) / A Petkovic (GER) d L Huber (USA) / L Raymond (USA) 75 26 10-7
[WC] S Cirstea (ROU) / M Kirilenko (RUS) d A Rosolska (POL) / C Scheepers (RSA) 46 63 11-9

BILLIE JEAN KING start 10:00 am
E Svitolina (UKR) vs [5] S Stephens (USA)
V King (USA) vs [4] S Lisicki (GER)
[3] S Errani (ITA) vs [Q] K Bertens (NED)
C Scheepers (RSA) vs [11] V Williams (USA)

Not Before 7:00 pm
L Davis (USA) vs [2] J Jankovic (SRB)
[3] R Kops-Jones (USA) / A Spears (USA) vs [Alt] J Gajdosova (AUS) / S Zheng (CHN)

ALTHEA GIBSON start 10:00 am
P Cetkovska (CZE) vs [13] E Vesnina (RUS)
S Peng (CHN) vs [15] M Keys (USA)
[14] A Petkovic (GER) vs L Dominguez Lino (ESP)
[16] S Zhang (CHN) vs A Tomljanovic (CRO)
M Lucic-Baroni (CRO) / N Petrova (RUS) vs A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Rodionova (AUS)

COURT 3 start 11:00 am
[12] D Hantuchova (SVK) vs [Q] G Min (USA)

Not Before 12:30 pm
[Q] B Bencic (SUI) vs M Erakovic (NZL)
A Medina Garrigues (ESP) / Y Shvedova (KAZ) vs [WC] E Bouchard (CAN) / T Townsend (USA)
[PR] H Chan (TPE) / Y Chan (TPE) vs [2] K Peschke (CZE) / L Safarova (CZE)


Venus Williams to Play Charleston


Venus William SP

(February 13, 2014) Venus Williams, former World No. 1 and 2004 Family Circle Cup Champion, has officially entered the 2014 Family Circle Cup. Younger sister, Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic and Sloane Stephens join Venus Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion for the 42nd tournament, March 29 – April 6 in Charleston, South Carolina.


The 2014 Family Circle Cup will mark V. Williams’ seventh appearance in Charleston, where she holds a 17-5 record. In 2013, Venus Williams made a return to the Cup’s final four, losing in the semifinal to sister and World No. 1 Serena Williams. The match marked the first time the sisters met in singles since 2009, and the first time on clay since 2002.


“I love traveling to Charleston and playing in a stadium where the fans always get behind me,” said Venus Williams. “The Family Circle Cup has come to have a special place in my heart, and a tournament I always look forward to.”


The 2013 season marked Venus Williams’ 16th time in the WTA’s Top 50. She’s won 44 WTA singles titles, the second most among active players and the seventh highest of all time. Along with her singles accomplishments, Williams has amassed 21 doubles titles, including 13 Grand Slam championships and three Olympic gold medals.


Serena Williams Wins Third Family Circle Cup


By Stephanie Neppl


(April 7, 2013) CHARLESTON, SC – For the second year in a row, Serena Williams is queen of the green clay. In the first three-set final since Serena beat Vera Zvonareva in 2008, the world No. 1 came back from a set down to win her third title in Charleston 3-6 6-0 6-2 over Jelena Jankovic.


On a perfectly sunny Sunday, Williams and Jankovic took the court for the first clay court match since 2010, which the Serb won in a third set tie-breaker.


On Sunday, both women showed the crowd why their head to head was 5-4 and played a match full of great rallies and clay court sliding. Williams had several break points on both of Jankovic’s first two service games but failed to capitalize in a 10-minute game. The next game, Jankovic broke Williams at love and the momentum was firmly in her favor. She held, then broke again to take the first set 6-3.


Williams broke immediately at the start of set two and reeled off six games in a row to bagel her opponent for the first time in their 10 matches. Williams broke early again in the third and was able to break again and serve out the match to win her 49th career title.


Coming off a win in Miami and now Charleston, Williams said she never goes into a tournament expecting to lose.


” I just expect to do the best I can,” she said. “If that meant that I won, then that’s great and if it meant that I lost but I played a good match, then I have to learn to be okay with that.”


Before she heads onto the red clay, Williams said she was keen to go home for a bit and didn’t plan any celebration other than sleeping in her own bed. “The last three weeks have been intense. I don’t really celebrate so much anymore,” she said.


Williams’ win was her third title of 2013, and she is expected to hold on to the No. 1 ranking at least through May 6, according to the WTA.


Jankovic, who had been on a 10-match winning streak on clay and said she thought she’d had a great week. “I think I did a great job. I fought very well. I played some good tennis throughout the week, and you know, today playing Serena was great, too. It’s been a while since I played against her, so it’s always fun to play against a champion like her.”


The Serbian said there is a reason why Serena is the world’s top ranked player and said she felt she’d given her best on the court. “She is serving very well and she hits the ball harder than anyone else. Physically she is the strongest out there.”


The doubles title was won by Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic and Kristina Mladenovic who defeated Andrea Hlavackova and Liezel Huber 6‑3, 7‑6 (6).


Stephanie Neppl was 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 personal Twitter @stephintheus and her blog  http://ihaveatennisaddiction.blogspot.com.


Family Circle Cup final set: Serena Williams vs Jelena Jankovic


By Stephanie Neppl

(April 6, 2013) CHARLESTON, SC – Jelena Jankovic has one of the better head-to-head records against world No. 1 Serena Williams, but she is not willing to divulge why she thinks that’s the case.


“If I’m going to give you the keys to my success, that wouldn’t be good. So I’m going to keep those cards in my sleeves still,” she said after here win over Stefanie Voegele to advance to the title match at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston.


Jankovic will face Williams, who leads their match ups 5-4, in Sunday’s final. The only time the two have played on clay was a classic final in Rome 2008, which Jankovic won in a third set tiebreaker.


On Saturday afternoon, Jankovic needed three sets to advance to the final in ousting Voegele, who had knocked out No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki on Friday night. Jankovic said it was a tough match physically and mentally. “I was able to turn the match around when it really mattered, when I was tired, when I was really filled up with all these emotions,” she said.


Williams and Jankovic last met in the first round of the London Olympics and the Serbian said it was important not to have any fear when taking on the world No. 1. You have to believe you can win. It doesn’t matter who’s on the other side of the net. You’ve gotta go there thinking you are the better player and that you can win,” she said.


Williams said she’d be ready for another rematch with Jankovic. She gets a lot of balls back and likes to go down the line. I’ll be ready for her. She’s been playing well, I think, the past month; she’s been really consistent. So I’ll have my work cut out for me.”


Jankovic, a former world No. 1, is having a resurgent season. She won her 13th career title in Bogota earlier this year, breaking a near-three year title drought. She reached the semifinals in Miami and is now in another final in Charleston. The Serbian won the title in 2007.


Meanwhile, Williams will be looking for her 49th career title and third at the Family Circle Cup.


The women’s singles final will be at 1pm EST on Sunday.


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.


MARCH 30 – APRIL 07, 2013

RESULTS – APRIL 06, 2013
Singles – Semifinals

[1] S Williams (USA) d [5] V Williams (USA) 61 62
[9] J Jankovic (SRB) d S Voegele (SUI) 64 67(6) 62

Doubles – Semifinals

[1] A Hlavackova (CZE) / L Huber (USA) d M Moulton-Levy (USA) / S Zhang (CHN) 60 62
K Mladenovic (FRA) / L Safarova (CZE) d A Barty (AUS) / A Rodionova (AUS) 61 64

BILLIE JEAN KING start 11:00 am
[1] A Hlavackova (CZE) / L Huber (USA) vs K Mladenovic (FRA) / L Safarova (CZE)

Not Before 1:00 PM
[1] S Williams (USA) vs [9] J Jankovic (SRB)


Semifinal Saturday with Serena and Venus Williams at the Family Circle Cup


By Stephanie Neppl

(April 6, 2013) CHARLESTON, SC – As “We are Family” played over the loudspeakers Saturday at the Family Circle Cup, Venus and Serena Williams stepped onto the court to play in their 24th match against each other in their professional careers.


Who knows how many times the sisters played each other growing up, or how they performed against each other then. But on Saturday in Charleston, the sisters took the court for the first time in more than three years and for the first time since both had gone through major health issues.


They were also coming off playing back to back matches on Friday when rain cancelled most matches on Thursday.


Serena’s 6-1, 6-2 victory was a one-sided affair and the most lopsided scoreline in their head to head, which Serena now leads 14-10. Serena hit few errors and six aces while Venus hit eight double faults and only served at 53%.


After the match, Serena said she thought that the fact she and Venus were both playing their third match in two days was a big factor in the scoreline. Serena said it was definitely tougher for her sister.


“I mean she’ll never admit it, ever, but I don’t think she was 100 percent.  But you will never get that out of her, and quite frankly, three matches for her is much tougher than three matches for me. And so you know, it’s definitely not easy, because I’m struggling, and I can’t imagine what she must be feeling.”


Serena said her big sister had a great week, “I feel like, honestly, if she hadn’t had to play so many matches, it would have been a much tougher match.”


But Venus said she thought the conditions were the same for both players. “I felt pretty good actually. So you know, it would have been nicer to have more spaces between the matches, but it did not work out.”


Venus thought overall she had a great week. “I think this is some of the best I’ve felt in a very long time. So for me it’s something to build on. And obviously Serena is playing extremely well, and it’s great to see her at No. 1 and just fulfilling every dream.”


The world No. 1 advances to her fourth final this year, and she’ll face Jelena Jankovic.


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.