It seems like only yesterday that local and Family Circle Cup officials announced the tournament was moving to Daniel Island and that a new state-of-the-art tennis facility, complete with a 10,200-seat stadium, would be built.
Time flies when the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour provides fun, star power and memories that last a lifetime. Family Circle Cup is celebrating its 10th year in Charleston and the event has attracted 806,027 fans after 5,135 fans passed through the turnstiles on a brilliant Sunday afternoon. The two days of qualifying attracted 10,361 fans.
Family Circle Cup is holding 20 special events during the tourney's nine-day run marking the 10th anniversary to thank loyal fans -- some who have traveled from different parts of the country. The Family Circle Cup family also is looking to attract new fans.
The fans will be rewarded with men's tennis, music and one of the WTA's most glamorous stars to spice up the week.
Tennis legends John McEnroe and Jim Courier will join tennis sex symbol Anna Kournikova and a fourth player to be announced in singles and doubles action Saturday night, the same day the Cup semifinals are held at the Family Circle Tennis Center.
The Blue Dogs, a Charleston-based rock band, will perform throughout the day and wrap up the festivities with a concert that night in Family Circle Stadium.
Citizens of the World is geared to attract new fans. The event will be held today and is presented by Prudential.
A free event inspired by tennis legend Arthur Ashe, Citizens of the World is aimed at opening the doors of tennis to all citizens and is set from 4:30 - 7 p.m.
Fans can enjoy autograph signings, mascot appearances by local sports teams, tennis clinics and games, Touch-a-Truck provided by the city of Charleston, music, and a meet-and-greet with Wendy Davis, Drew Fuller, Sterling Brown, and Catherine Bell from the hit Lifetime show Army Wives.
Fans can watch tennis during the 10th anniversary on Daniel Island. They can shop, dine, enjoy happy hours, rub elbows with celebrities and even test drive an electric vehicle.
Oudin in prime time
Melanie Oudin will play in Tuesday's night session. The 19-year-old Oudin reached the third round of last year's event and went on to have a break-out season.
"I think the fans really like me here," Oudin said after her third-round loss in Charleston last April. "Everyone was cheering for me."
Oudin's best tennis came in the finals days of summer as she reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. She took out some of the game's biggest names in the Open, including Elena Dementieva, Maria Sharpova and Nadia Petrova.
The Marietta, Ga., native is ranked No. 19 in the world and lists Family Circle Cup and the U.S. Open as her favorite tournaments.
Today's four matches at the Family Circle Cup Stadium will feature four Americans in action, including two players with connections to the Palmetto State.
Spartanburg's Mallory Cecil will play Rossana De Los Rios at 10 a.m., followed by Lilia Osterloh vs. Canadian Alexandra Wozniak. The third match of the day in the main stadium features American Julie Ditty vs. Ukrananian Alona Bondarenko. The final match features Hilton Head's Alison Riske vs. German Angelique Kerber.
Tickets are available for all remaining sessions. Tickets for today's session are $55 for the second tier and $45 for grandstand.
Tickets for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday's sessions are $55 day/$30 night for second tier and $45 day/$20 night for grandstand.
For ticket information, call 856-7900 or buy tickets online through Ticketmaster.com or use charge by phone at 800-745-3000.
Accuweather predicts perfect tennis weather this week with mostly sunny skies and daily temperatures ranging from 73-80.
ESPN2 will provide four days of television coverage beginning with Thursday's Round of 16.
Thursday's and Friday's coverage is from 1-2:30 p.m. each day.
Saturday's semifinal coverage and Sunday's championship is set for 1-3 p.m.
ESPN's crew will include Cliff Drysdale and Mary Joe Fernandez.