Sunday, April 9, 2023

The ones who kept winning--and the ones who didn't quite get there

Patty Schnyder (photo by Diane Elayne Dees)
There are several players who have won the Charleston Open (formerly the Family Circle Cup and the Volvo Car Open) twice, and Serena Williams won it three times (two of those victories were consecutive), but there are also a few players who won the event multiple times. 

Chris Evert holds the record, winning in Charleston eight times during a nine-year span. Martina Navratilova won it four times, and Steffi Graf also won it four times. In the 1986 final, she defeated Evert, who had reached her ninth Charleston final.

Kerry Reid was twice a finalist (in consecutive years), but never won the event. Natasha Zvereva was also twice a finalist, but never a champion, as were Vera Zvonareva, Elena Vesnina and Patty Schnyder. Schnyder's story is of particular interest. In 2002, the unseeded German player took out 6th seed Amelie Mauresmo, Mary Pierce, 3rd seed Serena Williams, and top seed Jennifer Capriati. Yet after all that heavy lifting, she was stopped in the final by the unseeded Iva Majoli, who defeated her 7-6, 6-4. 

In 2006, 3rd seed Schnyder upset top seed Justine Henin, but lost to 2nd seed Nadia Petrova in the final. Patty Schnyder was an absolute rock star at the Family Circle Cup, and it always seemed such a shame that she never won it.

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