The hometown favorite and other favorites all had gone their way. It wasn't the perfect semifinal Saturday at the Volvo Car Open.
It was even cold, especially cold out of the sunshine that finally revealed itself at mid-afternoon.
But the tennis fans reaped a consolation prize: two three-setters. Everyone appeared to be happy. Of course, they missed Shelby Rogers, Caroline Wozniacki, Venus Williams and others.
But 19-year-olds Daria Kasatkina and Jelena Ostapenko did their best to keep the crowd entertained. In the end, it came down to 35-year-old Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and drop-shot girl Laura Siegemund not being able to keep the ball in play often enough to advance to Sunday's final.
It's anyone's guess as to what size of crowd will be on hand for the final to watch two unseeded teenagers with a combined world ranking of more than 100. But the crowd turned out big time on Saturday, 9,091 strong.
Fans might have recorded the final round of the Masters and found a way out of Easter egg hunts to watch Wozniacki or Shelby, and Venus, but this is relatively new ground for the tournament on Daniel Island.
It reminds you of the second Family Circle Cup played here when Iva Majoli defeated Patty Schnyder. Or maybe finalist one-time wonders Leila Meskhi (1991) and Barbara Paulus (1996) of Hilton Head Island days.
Girls have potential
But these two girls, Kasatkina and Ostapenko, have a chance maybe to one day shine brightly long term on the WTA Tour, especially Kasatkina.
The Russian might falter in this final, but probably not unless Ostapenko is having a huge day serving. That might be the only way Kasatkina loses.
Kasatkina plays the game almost effortlessly. Forehands and backhands seem to fly off her racket, hitting the deepest corners with high velocity. Hey, she owns two victories over Angelique Kerber.
She had trouble with Laura Siegemund's drop shots in the first set Saturday, but that didn't last in her 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 win over the injured Siegemund. By the second set, Kasatkina was dictating the style of the match.
Kasatkina also plays intelligent tennis. She plays solid defense, then turns on the pace instantly.
As Siegemund said about Kasatkina on Friday, "It's dangerous if people are very solid and very aggressive at the same time."
That's Kasatkina in a nutshell. She might be playing a patient clay court-style of game one shot, then kick up her left leg and pound a two-handed backhand down the line for a clean winner. Yes, she's dangerous.
She was a quarterfinalist here last year, but is ranked only No. 42 in the world.
And Ostapenko? She's difficult to size up, other than her power. When the Latvian of Russian origin tosses the ball up and makes a funny twist of her face, the opponent better be ready.
Lucic-Baroni was ready as always, but it often didn't make any difference in her 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 loss to Ostapenko.
Lucic-Baroni may have the earliest service return setup on the tour. She's ready to receive the next serve before the server even steps to the line.
Ostapenko hits great groundstrokes, but not always, judging by her No. 66 ranking. But then again, she's just a kid coached by her mother, who started Jelena out in tennis when she was only 5 years old. The mother (who isn't coaching Jelena here) must be a great coach.
Jelena has grown into a 5-10 powerhouse. Once she learns to keep the ball on the court a little more consistently, the sky's the limit.
A favorite? I pick Kasatkina. Of course, in three sets.
Reach James Beck at firstname.lastname@example.org.