Ten hours later, Samantha Stosur and Eugenie Bouchard finally stepped onto Billie Jean King Court late Thursday night.
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It was more than worth the wait for Bouchard.
Bouchard, a qualifier, stunned No. 3 seed Samantha Stosur, 6-1, 2-0, in the third round of the Family Circle Cup on Thursday night.
Stosur, the ninth-ranked player in the world, was forced to retire after the second game of the second half with a calf injury. Stosur’s calf was heavily taped as the Australian’s normally graceful movement was limited in the short time she was on the court.
With light to moderate rain falling on Daniel Island most of the day, only three singles matches and one doubles match were able to be finished on a soggy Thursday.
The rest of the matches that were scheduled to be played, including ones that involved fan favorites Serena and Venus Williams, will be played today. Venus Williams is scheduled to play Varvara Lepchenko at 11 a.m., on Billie Jean King Court, while younger sister and top seed Serena Williams will face Mallory Burdette no earlier than 1 p.m.
One of the first matches on Thursday, pitting Jelena Jankovic and Jessica Pegula, that had originally been scheduled to start at about 11 a.m., finally got started a little after 6 p.m.
Ninth-seeded Jankovic easily dispatched Pegula, 6-0, 6-4, and Stefanie Voegele defeated 10th-seeded Julia Goerges, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Bouchard will face Jankovic today in the quarterfinals.
Calling it the biggest win of her young processional career, Bouchard, 19, connected on 10 winners and only had six unforced errors through the first eight games of the match. With Stosur’s mobility limited, Bouchard moved her around the court and used a powerful serve to dominate from beginning to end. Stosur, who won the 2011 U.S. Open, appeared frustrated from the opening game.
“I really tried to take it to her, and tried to be the first one to do a good shot. I tried to make her move, and I’m really happy with the way I did my job today,” Bouchard said. “I try to control the point with my serve. I think I did that well tonight, the first ball of the point, really tried to control it and even with the return as well, I was really trying to attack her serve, and I think really being aggressive and not hesitating to come forward.”
It was a nerve-wracking day for Bouchard, who finally got on the court at about 9 p.m., for a match that was scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Bouchard was disappointed that Stosur got injured, but it didn’t put a damper on the victory.
“It’s unfortunate that she had to retire,” Bouchard said. “It’s much better to win with a full match, but I’m excited to beat her. I thought she was serving pretty well, but yeah, we had some points and she didn’t run for some balls.”
Like Stosur and Bouchard, the numerous false starts throughout the day were not easy to deal with.
“It was very difficult, I think for all of us, to wait around and just keep on standing by,” Jankovic said “You never know when I was going to go on court and when was my time to play, and I just had to be ready all the time and wait. I just tried to just rest and just keep myself relaxed and really keep the energy because I knew it was going to be a long day, and I actually thought we were not going to go on court, it was going to rain the whole day and we were going to play tomorrow.”
A light drizzle began to fall during their match, but play continued in the second set as Jankovic advanced to the quarterfinals.
“It was very slow and the balls were quite heavy and the overall play was quite heavy,” Jankovic said. “I was lucky because when we went on court, it started drizzling a bit and I said ‘oh my God we’re going to go back again,’ but it actually ended up really good for me that I was able to finish the match and I don’t have to play two matches tomorrow, so it was great.”
Eugenie Bouchard was happy with her win over Samantha Stosur in Family Circle Cup play on Thursday night April 4, 2013. Bouchard won 6-1, 2-0 when Stosur retired due to a leg injury. (Wade Spees/postandcourier.com)×