Nadia's Cup runneth over

Nadia Petrova

Nadia Petrova is the top juggling act at the Family Circle Cup.

She won the 2006 singles title, won doubles titles in 2009 and 2010 and on Wednesday enjoyed victories in both singles and doubles.

All while suffering from vertigo, recovering from travel fatigue and adjusting to a brand new doubles partner.

Obviously, the classy 28-year-old Russian remains a formidable force on Daniel Island green clay.

Within four hours, Petrova rolled to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Edina Gallovits-Hall on the stadium court and rallied with partner Julia Goerges for a three-set doubles victory over Zi Yan and Alisa Kleybanova on Court 4.

Familiarity helps. Petrova won the Family Circle Cup doubles championship last year with Liezel Huber and in 2009 with Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

But she was the last Family Circle Cup participant to get into town after Petrova and Huber reached the Sunday afternoon doubles final in Miami. They lasted three sets on Key Biscayne before losing to Daniela Hantuchova and Agieszka Radwanska.

The vertigo forced Petrova to retire with dizziness during a Miami singles match against 2009 Family Circle Cup champion Sabine Lisicki.

It was back again Wednesday.

"Pretty much I feel it all day," said Petrova, currently ranked No. 22 in singles. "You know, light dizziness and just generally a bit of ... Kind of like fatigue. It's an unusual feeling for me. I'm trying to cope with it."

And also with a difficult split with Huber.

A little shopping helped get Family Circle Cup off to a good start.

"I got in at midnight (Sunday)," Petrova said. "It was really nice to wake up in downtown Charleston and do something besides tennis. I was very happy to find a purse I had been looking for at Louis Vuitton. It was a nice break from nerves and stress."

Doubles take

So far, not bad.

"It's a pretty solid start for me," Petrova said of a Gallovits-Hall match that lasted only 58 minutes. "I'm looking forward to the next one and hopefully I can do really well this week."


Who knows?

Petrova owns 19 tour doubles titles and thought she had a good thing going with Huber, also one of the best in the world. But Huber opted to play in Charleston with fellow American Lisa Raymond.

"It's a bit personal," Petrova said of the change. "I don't really want to talk about it."

Mattek-Sands was not a possibility. She is playing with another Arizona resident, Meghann Shaughnessy.

'With passion'

Still, no 2011 Family Circle Cup participant has as many Family Circle Cup trophies as Petrova. She defeated Patty Schnyder in three sets for the 2006 singles titles and wins more fans each April with her aggressive, animated approach.

"I play tennis with passion," Petrova said. "I do get carried away, but nothing negative. This is just the way I am. I can't hold everything in. It's just not the right thing for me. So ... I like to let it out, forget it and move on."

Singles is the priority.

"But once singles ends for me in a tournament and I am still playing doubles, I switch my mentality and put everything into my doubles," Petrova said.

Vertigo and new partner or not, Petrova thinks it is possible.

A singles title and doubles title in the same Family Circle Cup.

"Yes, it is," Petrova said. "I did it in Cincinnati (in 2008). If it happens here, it will actually be a perfect week for me."

Reach Gene Sapakoff at or 937-5593.