Monday, April 1, 2013

Mattek-Sands wins marathon match in Charleston

Bethanie Mattek-Sands (photo by Daniel Ward)

Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated Anastasia Rodionova 6-4, 6-7, 7-6 today in Charleston, but it took her over 3 hours and 42 minutes to do it. Also winning in a tight three sets was Jessica Pegula, who defeated Garbine Muguruza 6-7, 6-4, 7-5. Muguruza held a match point on Pegula's serve.

Also holding a match point was Francesca Schiavone, but she failed to convert it and was beaten 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 by Silvia Soler-Espinosa. The crowd was firmly behind Schiavone, but the Italian star was just too error-prone during the tiebreak.

Qualifier Mallory Burdette played and won her first Charleston main draw match. Burdette upset Kristina Mladenovic 6-1, 1-6, 6-0.

Varvara Lepchenko beat Christina McHale (photo by Daniel Ward)
It was very cloudy this morning when we arrived at the tournament, but then the sun came out and it stayed cool, with a slight breeze--just about perfect weather. Rain, however, is forecast for later in the week.

2010 champion Sam Stosur reported that her leg is fine. Stosur had to withdraw from the Miami tournament because of a calf strain she sustained (while serving a match point) in Indian Wells. She said that doing rehab so quickly was a challenge. The Australian star celebrated her birthday in Charleston by going to dinner at Fig (Sofia Vergara was there, too).

Stosur is especially fond of the Family Circle Cup. "Everyone treats the players so well," she said, "whether you're the first seed or probably the last one in the tournament. I really think that everyone feels welcomed just the same...."

For those of you who have shared my curiosity about Serena Williams' Paris apartment, here's the latest: She recently finished re-decorating it--"really, really really shabby chic." She described the color scheme as "a lot of neutrals, but lots of pink." Willliams described her command of the French language as "not great...but it's getting better."

2009 champion Sabine Lisicki and friend (photo by Daniel Ward)
As for Venus, she said her back is much better and she really wanted to come to Charleston because she loves the tournament, and that she's hoping to get to the semifinals and play Serena. As for her ordeal with learning to manage Sjogren's Syndrome and then returning to the tour, Williams said "I learned that you have to focus on what you can achieve; sometimes you focus on what you can't achieve."

Sloane Stephens told us that she's looking forward to the European clay season so that she can go to Europe and "I don't have to be bothered." "You have to Skype me if you want to talk to me," she added, describing Europe as a place where she isn't constantly involved with Twitter and her telephone.

Victoria Duval, who lost her first round qualifying match, dropped by All-Access Hour and entertained the media just by being her charmingly goofy self. Duval talked about everything from missing shots (including a quick demonstration) to her fondness for the swinging volley.

Tomorrow night's featured match will be played between Sloane Stephens and (probably a very tired) Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Defending doubles champion Lucie Safarova, playing for the first time with Kristina Mladenovic, will play the night match against Jelena Jankovic and Andrea Petkovic.

Defending champion Serena Williams (photo by Daniel Ward)

 Charleston All-Access Live:

No comments: