The Family Circle Cup is known for the rich green of its clay tennis courts, but the tradition-rich tournament is "going green" in a different way this year.
The FCC has announced a "Green Connection" initiative that includes recycling everything from plastic and aluminum to tennis balls.
"At the Family Circle Cup, we're very environmentally conscious," said Bob Moran, general manager of the Family Circle Tennis Center on Daniel Island.
"We're very proud of all of our green partnerships and initiatives at this year's event."
The cute little cars tooling around the Tennis Center are the official electric vehicle of the 2010 tournament, provided by Current Electric Vehicles, the exclusive U.S. distributor of CT&T Electric Vehicles of Korea. The electric cars are used by the FCC for all manner of transportation, including ferrying players around the Tennis Center. You can check out the CEV cars at Bavarian Luxury Auto Sales in Mount Pleasant.
The "Green Connection" also includes the food and beverage tent, where plates are made of recycled material, utensils are made of biodegradable material and "green" fuel made with ethanol is used to keep food warm.
The Cup's star power cranks up today with seventh-ranked Jelena Jankovic, the 2007 champion, and fan favorite Patty Schnyder taking the court. Jankovic faces Romania's Edina Gallovits in the third match on Stadium Court (play begins at 10 a.m.) Schnyder, twice a runner-up here, takes on Chanelle Scheepers in the second match on Stadium Court.
The youngest player in the draw is 17-year-old Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal. The wisest? American Jill Craybas, all of 35.
There are two former Family Circle Cup champions in the field, Nadia Petrova (2006) and Jankovic (2007), and three runners-up: Schnyder (2002, 2006), Vera Zvonareva (2008) and Caroline Wozniacki (2009). There are 23 countries represented, including 11 from the U.S. and nine from Russia.
Luck of the draw
Two qualifers are guaranteed to reach the second round due to a quirk in the draw, which was held Saturday.
Qualifier Catalina Castano defeated fellow qualifier Anna Tatishvili, 7-5, 6-2, in the first round on Monday, while qualifier Mashona Washington faced a fourth qualifier, Sophie Ferguson.
Castano, of Colombia, will take on 12th-seeded Aleksandra Wozniak in the second round. The Washington-Ferguson winner gets one of two Americans: Jill Craybas or 13th-seeded Melanie Oudin, who play tonight on Stadium Court.
Tickets are available for all remaining sessions. Tickets for today, Wednesday and Thursday's day sessions are $55 for second tier and $45 for grandstand. Tickets for today's, Wednesday and Thursday's night sessions are $30 for second tier, $20 for grandstand. Tickets for Friday's day session are $45 and $20 for the night session.
Tickets for Saturday's semifinals and Sunday's championships are $50. Tickets for Saturday's Game, Set and Rock exhibition range from $15-$35. For ticket information, call 856-7900 or buy tickets online through Ticketmaster.com or Ticketmaster's charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000.
Monday's attendance was 5,276, pushing the three-day total to 15,637, nearly 1,000 ahead of last year's pace. The 2009 event attracted 87,786 fans. This year's total is 193 ahead of the 2006 pace, when the Family Circle Cup set an attendance record in Charleston of 92,375.
-- Compiled by Jeff Hartsell and Philip M. Bowman