Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bouchard takes Venus Williams out of Family Circle Cup

Photo by Daniel Ward

Photo by Daniel Ward

It was a year ago, in Charleston, when Eugenie Bouchard reached her first premier-level WTA quarterfinal, and she advanced to the Charleston quarterfinals again today with a 7-6, 2-6, 6-4 victory over Venus Williams. Williams had two set points in the first set tiebreak, but was overcome by her opponent. The 2004 champion took the second set rather quickly, and went up a break in the third, but Bouchard kept it close, and broke Williams when she served at 4-5.

Lucie Safarova (photo by Daniel Ward)
Williams' exit from the tournament meant that only three former champions remained--Jelena Jankovic, Sabine Lisicki and Samantha Stosur. Stosur went out tonight in three sets to 2012 runner-up Lucie Safarova, who has become her nemesis, beating her in nine of eleven matches. Safarova focused on keeping her lefty serve and forehand pinned on Stosur's backhand, though she later said that the task was harder for her to accomplish on clay that it was on a hard court.

Lisicki was another story. The German player won one game against countrywoman Andrea Petkovic. Petko won her second round match 6-0, 6-0, and her third round match 6-1, 6-0. She has now won 26 of her last 27 games.

Andrea Petkovic (photo by Daniel Ward)

And then there was JJ. Jankovic defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5, 6-1, and that makes her the last former champion standing. Her next task is to take on Bouchard, and that will happen tomorrow at 1 p.m. on Billie Jean King Stadium Court.

Belinda Bencic (photo by Daniel Ward)
In the battle of the gifted teenagers, Belinda Bencic of Switzerland emerged the winner. Bencic defeated Elina Svitolina 6-7, 6-4, 6-1. Svitolina apparently didn't get the WTA memo about being quiet, and between her ball-striking yells and Bencic's emotional outbursts (this the player who had only just discussed with the press how calm she was in the second round--she laughed about it today), there was a lot of drama. Bencic even received an obscenity warning from the chair. It will be interesting to see where these two careers go--the two have quite a bit of talent between them.

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