The “next wave” of American women’s tennis received a foot in the ass on Monday at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, SC, when four of the five young Americans in first-round action lost — the one win coming only because two Americans faced each other.
Qualifier Melanie Oudin looked like she might be lining up an upset over No. 10 seed Anabel “Funky Cold” Medina Garrigues — until she lost 6-0 in the third set. Christina McHale, seeded No. 11, lost in three sets to Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak. Wildcard Irina Falconi lost in straight sets to lucky loser Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic.
Wildcard Jamie Hampton of the U.S. did advance, defeating fellow American Sloane Stephens 7-5, 7-6(1).
Hampton on Tuesday will meet top-seeded Sam Stosur. Other Americans in action Tuesday are Vania King vs. Yanina Wickmayer, Venus Williams vs. Iveta Benesova, Serena Williams vs. Elena Vesnina, and Jill Craybas vs. Akgul Amanmuradova.
Stosur is the top seed only after the withdrawal of Aggie Radwanska. Radwanska showed no problems in winning the Miami title Sunday, but then withdrew from Charleston citing a “back injury.”
Another high-profile (or non-high-profile because she wasn’t announced) pull-out was Miami runner-up Maria Sharapova.
“We didn’t announce Maria (had entered) because we knew she wasn’t going to play, and we didn’t want to disappoint the fans (again),” Family Circle Cup General Manager Bob Moran told the Charleston Post and Courier. “Sharapova officially withdrew on Friday…We knew she never had any intention of playing this year.”
Obviously a big fan of Maria.
Even though Sharapova had entered the 2012 Family Circle Cup as early as last November, Moran learned his lesson at last year’s event, when Sharapova withdrew from the tournament on the day of the draw party after losing to Victoria Azarenka in the 2011 Sony Ericsson final in Miami.
That tells you the confidence that WTA tournament officials have of the WTA stars actually showing up for events.
Joining Stosur among the 16 seeds are Marion Bartoli, Vera Zvonareva, Serena Williams, Sabine Lisicki, Jelena Jankovic, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Lucie Safarova, Anabel Medina Garrigues, Christina McHale, Yanina Wickmayer, Nadia Petrova, Polona Hercog, Chanelle Scheepers, Jarmila Gajdosova, and Marina Erakovic.
Jankovic after her opening-round bye will likely face Venus Williams in the second round, before you can set the snooze alarm until the semifinals.
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