Belinda Bencic, seeded 7th in the qualifying event, will face wild card Chan Jung-Jan in the first round of Charleston qualifying on Saturday. Also scheduled to play is 7th seed Vicky Duval, who will oppose wild card Ellie Halbauer. Zarina Dyas is the number 1 qualifying event seed.
Women Who Serve will cover the event beginning Monday, March 31. Daniel Ward, thankfully, will once again provide his wonderful photography.
Serena Williams is both the top seed and the defending champion. Other former champions who are entered are Jelena Jankovic, Venus Williams, Samantha Stosur, Sabine Lisicki, and Nadia Petrova. Petrova is playing as a wild card. Jankovic, who won the Family Circle Cup in 2007, was last year's runner-up.
The weather for the Charleston area is predicted to be mild in the day and pleasantly cool at night for the duration of the tournament, with a slight chance of rain later in the week. If this sounds too good to be true, it's probably because it is. The weather on Daniel Island has a way of "interfering" with the forecast, so if you are going to the tournament, you need to be prepared for sudden changes. Last year, it really was pretty mild with pleasant coolness at night, but there was one really serious thunderstorm that stopped the show. In the past, there have been tornadoes, and going from burning hot to freezing cold is not unusual. Just be prepared.
No matter what the weather is like--and this year's weather is likely to be as good as last year's--the tournament provides a great atmosphere for everyone, with plenty of player access, lots of space for relaxing, and an opportunity to watch some of the world's best players hit the green clay. The Charleston crowd is really up on women's tennis, and the players--in both singles and doubles--get a lot of support. This tournament has great historic importance, and there's a great vibe all over the grounds during the event.