Success in both singles and doubles at the same time takes a rare breed of player. A Martina (Hingis or Navratilova) or John McEnroe. Or Venus or Serena Williams.
If a player does well in doubles, it can affect the player's play in singles. Or it can be the other way around.
Take world's No. 1 doubles player Shuai Peng, for instance. Singles apparently had an adverse effect on the Chinese player in doubles on Thursday.
Peng pushed Family Circle third seed Sara Errani to the limit before surrendering, 7-6, 7-6, in more than two hours of mid-day heat. A few hours later, bandaged-leg Peng and her partner, Su-Wei Hsieh, retired late in the first set of their first-round doubles match against Marina Erakovic and Arantxa Parra Santonja.
Jelena Jankovic and Andrea Petkovic both won their round of 16 singles matches, and then at least completed their doubles match later Thursday against Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears, but suffered a three-set loss. So, it's difficult to know if Jankovic's and Petkovic's singles success and focus on Friday's singles quarterfinals impacted their doubles play
By the way, past tournaments' doubles play might even impact singles results. Just ask 2009 Family Circle champion Sabine Lisicki, who came straight to Charleston from winning the doubles title with comeback champ Hingis at Miami's Sony Open.
Lisicki suffered a 6-1, 6-0 blitzing by Petkovic in the round of 16. And who got the blame?
Miami's doubles success, of course.
"I played the final in Miami on hard court until the end that Sunday evening," Lisicki said. That meant little practice on green clay. So, maybe doubles wasn't the real culprit.
Venus Williams was the only one of 12 Americans to make it past the second round in singles. But now that she's gone, too, after a round of 16 loss to Eugenie Bouchard on Thursday, there's still some Red, White and Blue spirit.
Abigail Spears is a 32-year-old from San Diego and partner Raquel Kops-Jones is a 31-year-old from Fresno, Calif. Not only will they play the last match of the day on Saturday on Billie Jean King Court in the doubles semifinals, they are the only Americans still playing in this year's Family Circle Cup.
Spears was a mixed doubles finalist at the U.S. Open in 2013 with Santiago González.
Thursday's total attendance of 12,649 for the day and night sessions pushed this year's attendance figures to 58,288. That number is just 20 below the pace through Thursday of Charleston's no-Saturday-night-session record attendance of 2006.
The 2006 total attendance of 92,375 is the highest among Charleston's previous Family Circle Cups that did not include a special Saturday night session. The 2006 tournament's attendance through the Thursday sessions was 58,308.
The overall best attendance in Charleston was in 2010 when a Saturday night "Game, Set, Rock! Tennis. Amplified." session featuring John McEnroe and Anna Kournikova drew 8,409 fans that helped pad the total attendance to 95,767. The through Thursday pace in 2010 was only 55,329.
Friday's day session attendance was 7,230, which pushed total attendance to 65,518.
Rackets on schedule
Do you remember all of those racket-runners everytime you watch Wimbledon or the French Open? Well, they do something similarly at the Family Circle Cup.
Family Circle facility director Rob Eppelsheimer hires three stringers each year to string rackets for the players. He said the stringers are on schedule to match the 380 rackets they strung a year ago
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