Family Circle Cup Overview
The Family Circle Cup is yet another major WTA event and recently took place in South Carolina where it was classified as a Premier WTA event. It has been an annual event since 1973 and was played at Hilton Head Island until 2000 when it moved to its current location. In 2012, the court was named in honor of Billie Jean King as part of its 40th birthday celebrations. Past winners include Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf while Serena Williams was the defending champion. The 2013 event had a total prize fund of $795,000 and was contested by several of the world’s top players from 30 March to 7 April.
Serena Williams was the #1 seed but faced stiff competition from #2 seed Caroline Wozniacki, #9 seed Jelena Jankovic and her sister Venus who is the #6 seed. The field contained 6 of the world’s top 20. It appeared that Wozniacki would be the biggest threat as she got to the quarter-finals but she was shocked by unseeded Stefanie Vogele who defeated the #2 seed 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 to set up a semi-final with Jankovic.
On the other side of the draw, Serena Williams was in ominous form yet again as she won all her early round matches with consummate ease. In the semi-finals, she met her sister, Venus, but this was no titanic sibling rivalry matchup as Serena ruthlessly crushed Venus 6-1, 6-2 and met Jankovic in the final. The #9 seed and underdog started brilliantly and took the first set 6-3 but the world #1 rallied and easily won the final two sets 6-0, 6-2 to take the title. Since the start of the clay court season in 2012, Serena has won 71 out of 75 matches, showing remarkable consistency.
This featured 16 teams with Liezel Huber and Andrea Hlavackova entering as the #1 seeded partnership. It appeared as if the title would be theirs when they effortlessly moved through the rounds without dropping a single set. Victory seemed inevitable, especially when #2 seeds Abigail Spears and Raquel Kops-Jones fell in round two. However, the final threw up a surprise as unseeded duo Lucie Safarova and Kristina Mladenovic defeated the favorites 6-3, 7-6 in the final. Perhaps we should not be shocked as Safarova has pedigree; she won this event last year with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova but the latter did not compete this year.
The overall event was a globally witnessed tournament and the world got to see that, yet again, Serena Williams is the queen of the WTA circuit and is in no mood to give up her crown.
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