No surprise that the 2013 Family Circle Cup field draws players from 28 countries — women’s tennis has world-wide appeal.
But 2013 Cup patrons come from faraway, too, representing 40 states and Washington, D.C. Cup officials report that 62 percent of the ticket buyers are return patrons.
As of press time, the 10 states without ticket-purchasers were Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Indiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
Of course, it’s still early. Don’t count out those racket-toting fans from Cheyenne, Fairbanks and Fargo until the third set of the singles final.
The Family Circle Cup never disappoints when it comes to food options. This year, newcomers and old favorites unite.
Themed dining areas are the 2013 theme:
Coffee N’ Cream: Gourmet coffee, or ice cream and a self-serve toppings bar.
Clos du Bois Corner: Located on the terrace level of the stadium, offering premium wine and craft beer with a view of Billie Jean King Court.
The Racquet Club: On the Grand Lawn with a full-service bar, TVs with live camera of Cup action. Drink specials nightly.
Althea Gibson Club Court: Hubee D’s.
Stadium Dining: Half Court Hot Dogs, Verde Salad Station.
Food Court: Chick-fil-A, Crepe Express, Daniel Island Grille, Zeus Grill.
On The Go: Diegos Frozen Drinks, Good and Cold Italian Ice, Mountain Top, Papa Johns Pizza, T & T Kettle Korn.
The Family Circle Cup has altered its semifinal Saturday schedule, partly to mesh with the Cooper River Bridge Run that morning.
The first of two semifinals is set for a 1 p.m. start this year, a change from 11 a.m. at past tournaments.
“We want to give people a chance to take part in the Bridge Run,” Family Circle Cup General Manager Bob Moran said. “And, of course, we hope a lot of people in town for the Bridge Run also come and watch some very good tennis.”
The later semifinal schedule means no Saturday night exhibition matches. Stars such as Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, John McEnroe and Anna Kournikova have taken part the last few years.
Live music is a nightly Family Circle Cup staple, complete with drink specials. Happy Hours are from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., including craft beer brewed by Holy City Brewing and specialty cocktails.
The music schedule:
April 2 — Calvin Taylor
April 3 — Blue Dogs Acoustic Trio
April 4 – Travis Allison
April 5 — Permanent Vacation
Venus Williams, former No. 1 player and Charleston fan favorite, will showcase her EleVen apparel line with an exhibition match Monday, April 1, from 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m.
Williams will play alongside four Charleston women on the Althea Gibson Court. All the players will be dressed in styles from the Spring 2013 collection of EleVen By Venus Williams and the apparel will be on-sale during the match as well as throughout the week in the tournament merchandise tent.
11 a.m. doubles final
The doubles final starts at 11 a.m. this year, a Sunday departure. In past years it has been played after the 1 p.m. singles final. The tricky part comes if a doubles finalist makes the singles final.
Shopping variety is the spice of the Cup.
The Family Circle Cup Merchandise Tent offers the latest fashions in tennis clothing, including Your Serve, a new vendor to Charleston. Popular brands include Nike and Antigua.
The Match Point Market is located adjacent to Stadium Court, with a row of boutique vendors unique to Charleston and the Family Circle Cup. The lineup includes KikiSol, Rewined Candles, Theodosia Jewelry, Lowcountry Olive Oil, Mary Mojo Boutique, The Hat Cottage and Baseline Boutique.
When in doubt, go with first names.
But here is a little help:
Sara Errani (eh-RAH-nee)
Anabel Medina Garrigues (ga-REE-gez)
Julia Goerges (ger-gess)
Daniela Hauntuchova (HAN-too-koh-vuh)
Liezel Huber (LEE-zel HOO-ber)
Jelena Jankovic (YELL-e-nuh YANK-ko-vich)
Kaia Kanepi (KEYE-ah ka-NEP-i)
Sabine Lisicki (za-BEE-nuh LEE-zi-kee)
Francesca Schiavone (skee-ah-VOH-nay)