Family Circle Cup draw set
There are no surprises in the Family Circle Cup’s main draw, unless you didn’t expect both Venus and Serena Williams to show up on Daniel Island.
But both sisters were due in Saturday. Family Circle Cup general manager Bob Moran went straight from the mid-afternoon draw party on the lawn at Family Circle Tennis Center to the airport to pick up Venus. Her younger sister Serena was scheduled to arrive Saturday night.
With that bit of news, everything seemed to be on schedule, until WTA Tour official Pam Whytcross came up short on chips to be drawn from a giant tennis ball to complete the main draw. So, you might say, it was back to the drawing board as the entire draw of non-seeded players had to be drawn again.
That sounds trivial enough, but the second drawing could have a major impact on the 40th edition of the Family Circle Cup. Instead of fifth-seeded Serena Williams possibly facing her unseeded wild-card sister in the round of 16, Venus came up in the opposite half of the second draw, which is the official draw.
That means Venus and Serena could face each other in next Sunday’s final.
Of course, Saturday-crowned Sony Ericsson Open champion Agieszka Radwanska of Poland might have something to say about that. Radwanska is the top seed for the $740,000 WTA Tour event that begins Monday.
Samantha Stosur, the 2010 champion, is seeded second and is listed at the bottom of the draw.
Radwanska’s first major test might come in the quarterfinals against wild-card eighth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, who assisted Whytcross with the draw.
Also in the top half, former two-time runner-up Vera Zvonareva is the fourth seed and could oppose Serena Williams in the key quarterfinal matchup in a replay of the 2008 final in which Williams won.
The bottom half of the draw is dominated by former champions Stosur, No. 6 seed Sabine Lisicki, No. 7 Jelena Jankovic and Venus Williams. No. 3 seed Marion Bartoli is in the same quarter with Lisicki. Jankovic and Stosur are in the bottom quarter.
While the top eight seeds all will have first-round byes, Venus Williams’ first-round opponent will be a qualifier. A win there would send the 2004 champion against 2007 winner Jankovic in a rare second-round battle of former champions. So, it appears Venus Williams still didn’t get a lucky “second” draw; neither did Jankovic.
The real winner might have been Serena Williams, who could now face No. 11 seed Christina McHale in the round of 16 rather than possibly her older sister.
Reach James Beck at email@example.com. See his columns on pro tennis at ubitennis.com/english.