Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Four former champions remain in Charleston draw

Serena Williams and Nadia Petrova are out, but four remaining Family Circle Cup champions have advanced to the third round. Venus Williams, Jelena Jankovic, Sabine Lisicki, and Sam Stosur are all in the competition.

Venus Williams, who sounds pretty congested and says she's still battling some type of bug, got a good fight today from Chanelle Scheepers (who always plays well here), but the 2004 champion prevailed, 7-5, 7-5.

Photo by Daniel Ward
2009 champion Sabine Lisicki had to go three sets against an in-form Vania King (another player who does especially well in Charleston). Lisicki won the first set 7-5, but then became error-prone as King continued to play at a high level. King won that set 6-4, and then--in the final set--the Charleston Sabine of 2009 showed up and put on a show of serving and expert drop shot execution that was breathtaking. It reminded me a lot of the 2009 final, in which Lisicki beat Caroline Wozniacki.

In that third set, Lisicki had first and second serve win percentages of 75 and 83! She had overall percentages of 76 and 45, and she hit 12 aces. After the match, she talked about what a difference it makes when she feels relaxed. Before the final set began, something in her just loosened up, and she won that set 6-3. Lisicki is seeded fourth in the tournament; her next opponent will be Andrea Petkovic.

Photo by Daniel Ward
2007 champion (and 2013 runner-up) Jelena Jankovic defeated Lauren Davis 6-0, 6-3 in the night match. Here's JJ in all her hot pink stretchy glory.

After her victory, Jankovic told the press that playing that doubles match with Andrea Petkovic last night was the most fun she had ever had on a tennis court in her life. I believe it.

Photo by Daniel Ward
The 2nd seed entered the press conference with a blanket wrapped around her shoulders like a cape, and promptly declared herself a superhero. She was asked whether it was true that she had stopped wearing makeup on court, and she launched into a lengthy--and hilarious--speech about getting older, looking clean and well-groomed, not caring anymore about wanting to "look different," and using lip gloss because her lips are cracked from talking too much.

"Here I want to look like a beast,"  she said. "I just want to look as scary as possible. I don't want to look pretty and all nice and dolled up. For what? I'm going to get dirty and sweaty. The only thing, my hair has to be slick."

Photo by Daniel Ward
Also today, Daniela Hantuchova made easy work of qualifier Grace Min, Ajla Tomljanovic beat Zhang Shuai, 2011 runner-up Elena Vesnina defeated Petra Cetkovska, and Peng Shuai beat 15th seed Madison Keys 6-1, 6-7, 7-6. They played on the Althea Gibson Club Court for almost two and a half hours, and Peng (who was barely acknowledged by a disappointed crowd who had been yelling and screaming at Keys) was the one who stayed very calm and steady in the third set tiebreak. And this following her having gone up 5-1 in the second set, only to get broken repeatedly by a determined Keys.

There was a big upset in doubles. Chan Hao-Ching and Chan Yung-Jan defeated 2nd seeds Kveta Peschke and Lucie Safarova 6-4, 6-4.


Marija said...

Love that quote of JJ about having the best fun ever with Andrea Petkovic. I shared it on Twitter.

Diane said...

Oh, good! Thanks, Marija. You could tell they were having a fabulous, crack-up time.