The four women in the semifinals of the Family Circle Cup are no strangers to each other. And their head-to-head histories suggest some compelling tennis in today's semis on Stadium Court.
Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki and No. 7 Vera Zvonareva have met twice before, splitting two matches last year. Zvonareva won 6-4, 6-2, on hard courts at Indian Wells, while Wozniacki returned the favor at the Tour Championships, winning 6-0, 6-7, 6-4, again on hard courts.
Ranked No. 2 in the world and a finalist last year, Wozniacki would seem to be the favorite. But Zvonareva has played a lot of tennis in Charleston; this is her eighth straight appearance, and she lost in the 2008 finals to Serena Williams.
In the other semi, No. 4 seed Samantha Stosur, of Australia, will meet No. 8-seeded Daniela Hantuchova, of Slovakia, for the fourth time. Stosur has won two of the three previous meetings, including a three-set victory on clay in Rome in 2006.
Stosur is ranked No. 11 and Hantuchova is No. 24. Stosur has made at least the quarterfinals in three straight tournaments; Hantuchova made the finals in Monterrey and defeated Patty Schnyder and Nadia Petrova in Miami.
Quickstart Tennis at FCC
Four new Quickstart Tennis courts were dedicated at the Family Circle Cup facility Friday and named for U.S. Tennis Association President Lucy Garvin, a Greenville native. Quickstart Tennis is designed to promote youth tennis. It features two different age levels, 8 and under, and 10 and under. Courts and equipment are scaled to the youngster, and an easier scoring system is employed. Four courts for the 8-and-under age group can be built in the same space as a regulation-size tennis court.
Off the court
Want to bump into a tennis star? Then you might want to sample some of the restaurants top-seeded Wozniacki has been visiting during this year's Family Circle Cup.
"We went to the Japanese restaurant Wasabi and also a Japanese restaurant called Sushi Hiro and a steakhouse, Halls Chophouse. Very good. We've been to quite a few (restaurants)," Wozniacki said.
She also said she likes the snack Nutella, which is available in the players' lounge. "I try not to eat too much," she said jokingly.
Hantuchova was spotted downtown shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue during the player party earlier this week. She said she purchased "a jacket and one nice top and a dress."
ESPN2's television broadcast of the Family Circle Cup continues today with semifinal coverage scheduled to run from 1-3 p.m. Sunday's championship match also will be broadcast by ESPN2 from 1-3 p.m. Cliff Drysdale and Mary Joe Fernandez are the commentators.
A total of 16,414 fans braved another day of clear skies and great weather at the Family Circle Cup on Friday, including 7,692 for the day session and 8,722 for the night matches.
That brings the week's total to 71,743 with today's semifinals and Sunday's final still to go.