Tennis Maryland is pleased to announce that we’ll be providing on-site coverage of the first half of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina from March 31-April 3, 2012. We’ll be there for all 36 qualifying matches and the first two days of main draw play. If there’s a player you’d like to see featured, speak up now. The draw ceremony will also be covered next Saturday afternoon.
Unfortunately, Anna Chakvetadze, Romina Oprandi and Bethanie Mattek-Sands have withdrawn from the tournament due to injuries. Chakvetadze was also forced to throw in the towel at Indian Wells and Miami due to back pain and Oprandi previously took a pass in Miami with a right knee injury. Mattek-Sands announced her intention to withdraw on Twitter last week due to a “hip/back injury”.
In the case of Mattek-Sands, she was a Tennis Maryland interview waiting to happen. Alas, it will not. She was even set to take part in a charity auction whereby one lucky bidder would practice with her, lunch with her, toss the coin at her first match and walk off with a signed racquet. All proceeds were to benefit MUSC Children’s Hospital in Charleston. There’s been no word yet on whether Mattek-Sands will be replaced by another WTA player in the charity auction.
The withdrawals don’t exactly weaken the field. 16 of the top 35 players in the world remain in the draw, including notable top 20s Agnieszka Radwanska (#4), Sam Stosur (#5), Marion Bartoli (#7), Vera Zvonareva (#10), Serena Williams (#11), Sabine Lisicki (#13), Jelena Jankovic (#15) and Julia Georges (#17).