Wedding bells at the Family Circle Cup
Five years ago, Don Flowers and family were assigned to be the hosts for Chanelle Scheepers, an up-and-coming tennis player from South Africa who makes the annual trip to the Family Circle Cup.
Next November, Flowers and his wife will travel to South Africa, where he will perform the wedding of Scheepers (known as “Chani”) and her boyfriend/coach, Roger Anderson.
“Chani is like family to us,” said Flowers, who lives in Mount Pleasant and is pastor at Providence Baptist Church on Daniel Island. “We call her our ‘tennis daughter.’
“She was ranked No. 150 when she started staying with us, and now she’s No. 40. It’s our joke that when she hits the top 10, she’ll start staying down at Charleston Place.”
Flowers and his wife, Anita, have two daughters who are not much younger than Scheepers, who is 28. She fit in right away with the family.
“She’s just a delightful young woman, and we enjoy following her career,” said Flowers. “We text back and forth and talk on Skype, at least once a week. We’ve learned that it’s not the glamorous life that everybody thinks it is for tennis pros. She is on the road constantly.”
That’s why the Flowers’ were happy when Scheepers began dating her coach, who is also from South Africa. But when Scheepers texted Flowers that she needed to talk to him last January, he was apprehensive.
“We figured they were either getting married or had broken up,” he said.
The news was good, and Scheepers told Flowers she wanted him to perform the ceremony.
“It’s a great honor, and one of the perks of my job,” he said.
Scheepers had a tough Cup this week, losing in the first round.
“But the good thing is, she had never been able to enjoy Charleston,” Flowers said. “So we were able to take her downtown and see all the stuff you are supposed to see when you are in Charleston.”
Stadium Court has a reputation for being a hard and fast surface for green clay. It’s also been the scene of some cringe-inducing ankle rolls.
Sabine Lisicki had to withdraw after turning her ankle during Friday’s match with Serena Williams, recalling Caroline Wozniacki’s ankle roll in the semifinals in 2010. Wozniacki also had to withdraw, but came back the next year to win the Family Circle Cup.
“I twisted my ankle while I was on the court,” said Lisicki, who has had a history of ankle problems and had them taped up before the match. “I think you guys saw it in slow motion. You probably know more than I do, because I haven’t seen it. I just felt it, so I’ll do an MRI and we’ll see what the doctors say, and we’ll go from there.”
ESPN2 will televise today’s Williams-Samantha Stosur semifinal from 1 to 3 p.m. The second match can be seen on espn3.com. Cliff Drysdale, Pam Shriver and Rennae Stubbs are working the matches.