The 2010 Family Circle Cup set a Charleston attendance record, but it comes with an asterisk of sorts.
A total of 95,767 fans attended the Family Circle Cup on Daniel Island this week, besting the previous Charleston record of 92,375 set in 2006.
But the record total included an extra session, the 8,409 who attended Saturday night's "Game, Set, Rock" exhibition featuring John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Monica Seles and Anna Kournikova.
Without that extra session, the Cup drew 87,358 fans, just behind last year's total of 87,786 and the smallest since 2003 (81,839).
Still, attendance was good given the pre-tournament withdrawals of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, and the "Game, Set, Rock!" exhibition was an unqualified hit. Tournament officials should consider making that a permanent part of the week.
Tweeting the tennis
A lot of players on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour are on Twitter, and it's been revealing to follow their thoughts on the Family Circle Cup this week.
--Jelena Jankovic, like a lot of players, is having trouble getting back to Europe because of the Iceland volcano. "Lost a tough one. Want to come back to Europe but all airports closed," she tweeted on Friday after a 6-1, 3-6, 3-6 loss to Daniela Hantuchova in the quarterfinals.
--Hantuchova appreciated the crowd support, even if she was a bit puzzled by it. On Friday, she tweeted, "The crowd was so behind me. I'm not sure why. They really, really helped me. I felt like I was playing at home. Thanks to all of you :)"
--Caroline Wozniacki is updating concerned fans on the state of her ankle, injured in Saturday's semifinals. She tweeted, "Just lying in bed with ice and my foot high all day. Tomorrow I will get an MRI, hopefully it's 'just' a sprain in my ankle."
But Wozniacki also is having trouble getting out of Charleston.
"It is so frustrating," she tweeted Sunday. "We are stuck here. No way out. All flights to Rome, Madrid and Barcelona are fully booked till Wednesday."
--And Victoria Azarenka kept fans abreast of her efforts to get from Charleston to Paris: "Kill me now! Flight is cancelled again. Omg."
The Iceland volcano has stranded many WTA players attempting to travel to Europe, where the clay-court season continues after the Family Circle Cup. But the luck of the WTA Tour schedule actually will help matters.
Fed Cup matches are set for next week, meaning the players aren't under the same travel pressures they would be if there were a regular tournament scheduled. The U.S. team, for example, plays Russia in the Fed Cup semifinals next week in Birmingham, Ala., with play starting on Saturday.
A WTA official said the Tour is considering its options in helping the players with their travel problems. The next WTA Tour events are set to start the week of April 26 in Stuttgart and Morocco.
Samantha Stosur's 52-minute wipeout of Vera Zvonareva by a score of 6-0, 6-3, Sunday was the quickest final in the 38-year history of the Family Circle Cup, but it was not the biggest blowout.
In 2000, Mary Pierce waxed Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, 6-1, 6-0. In 1995, Conchita Martinez dismissed Magdalena Maleeva in a quick 6-1, 6-1, and Gabriela Sabatini routed Leila Meskhi by the same score in 1991. Steffi Graf was a 6-1, 6-1 winner over Natasha Zvereva in 1989, and Chris Evert blasted Kelly Melville-Reid, 6-2, 6-0 in 1978. Perhaps the most surprising score on the blowout list: Evert's 6-0, 6-1 win over fellow legend Billie Jean King in 1977.