After her third Family Circle Cup title on Sunday, the next big date on Serena Williams’ calendar is the French Open, the Grand Slam event that begins in late May.
But the world’s No. 1 player, who owns 15 Grand Slam titles, is not quite ready to start thinking French.
“I focus on one tournament at a time,” she said after her 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 win over Jelena Jankovic. “You know, I did really well here last year, even better than this year. And I ended up not doing so great later on in the clay-court season.
“So for me, my whole thing is just one tournament at a time.”
Last year, Serena cruised to the Family Circle Cup title, building hopes that she would claim her second French Open title.
But despite a home-court advantage of sorts — she owns an apartment in Paris — Williams flamed out in the first round at Roland Garros, losing in three sets to Virginie Razzano.
Of course, she went on to win Wimbledon, the Olympics and the U.S. Open, but she doesn’t want to make the same mistake again.
“I had been looking at, ‘This is the most important, that’s the most important,’ ” she said. “But not anymore. I just focus on one event at a time, and you never know if you can make the next event. So just one a time and go for it.”
Twice as nice
Lucie Safarova and Kristina Mladenovic, playing together for the first time, won the Family Circle Cup doubles title with a 6-3, 7-6 victory over Andrea Hlavackova and Liezel Huber on Sunday.
Safarova also won the doubles title here last year, and made the singles final against Serena, 6-0, 6-1.
“I just enjoy it here,” said Safarova, a 26-year-old Czech. “This year, I went to see the countryside. I went to the Boone (Hall) Plantation and to the downtown. It’s, like, a calm tournament.”
A crowd of 8,752 turned out Sunday, boosting the total to 78,150 for the week. That’s the lowest overall attendance since the Cup came to Daniel Island in 2001, but there were some extenuating circumstances.
The Thursday day session was rained out, only the fourth rainout since 2001. And only 1,849 attended the Thursday night session after the day-long rains and chilly weather. Also, there was no Saturday night session this year, a session that has been well-attended over the last three years.
The crowd of 9,538 at Friday’s day session — when Venus and Serena played four straight matches — is a single-session record for the Family Circle Cup.