Monday, March 31, 2008

Sharapova enters Family Circle Cup

Yesterday, I wrote that Maria Sharapova was open to receiving a wild card to Charleston. In the meantime, she has signed on as a regular entrant. Though I cannot confirm it, I heard that this move was made possible because Julia Vakulenko has withdrawn.

As thrilled as I am about Sharapova's inclusion, I'm sorry to hear that Vakulenko will not be there. Last year, I was her one-woman cheering section and support at one of her matches. Vakulenko has a long history of injury, and it seems that just when she gets into good form, something else happens to her.

This news also means that Charleston's favorite, Patty Schnyder, has lost her first-round bye--unless one of the top players withdraws, which is always possible.

Sharapova entered the Family Circle Cup last year, but was one of several top players who had to withdraw because of injury.

5 comments:

Jen said...

Great news about Sharapova at Charleston! But speaking of Patty Schnyder, have you heard if she's dealing with any current injury issues? Losing to a player ranked 49 places below you happens, but love and one? Something seems wrong with that scene...

Diane said...

I thought Patty might be injured, too, Jen, but I haven't heard anything. She had a hamstring injury in Dubai, but played anyway.

Jen said...

Perhaps she battled a memory rather than an injury, Diane! I had plumb forgotten how Patty exited Miami in 2007. She lost (in her first match) to a certain Kaia Kanepi, 6-1, 6-4. A year later and sadly no closer to solving the tall Estonian.

Now a bit of trivia... Kanepi's two wins over Schnyder -- ranked #13 at the time of Miami '07 and #12 this year -- are the best of her career. Kaia has one other win vs a top 20 player, over Schiavone (15) in 2006. So I guess this is just one of those oddities of sport!

Chris said...

As one of the official tournament photographers at the Family Circle Cup, I'm very excited to see Sharapova coming. For some reason, the media seems to follow her like bees to honey. So with her in the draw (and other players like the Williams sisters who are also popular with the press), the tournament will get a hightened level of coverage. In other words, Getty, Action Images, Sports Illustrated, etc. might send might send more photographers and writers and get more articles out about to the public...which can only serve to help boost this great sport of ours!

Diane said...

Kanepi has wins over two players who use a lot of spin in their games. Now she just has to beat Justine }:->