Americans Davis, Keys, Min Advance to 2nd Round @FamilyCircleCup
Stephan Fogleman, Tennis East Coast
You couldn’t have picked a prettier day to open main draw play at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston. After a weekend of qualifying where fans and players were pelted by rain one day and hit with gale force gusts the next, Daniel Island’s famous perfect spring weather sprung just in time.
The top 8 seeds gave interviews to the press. Serena Williams, straight off another Miami title, was stoic and serene in interviews to the press at the nearby Daniel Island Club.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the US upstarts were trying to earn their keep.
American Lauren Davis was the first American to win a spot in the tournament’s second round with a 6-1, 6-4 routining of Dinah Pfizenmaier.
Madison Keys followed up that effort with a straight sets tiebreak win over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, 7-6(0), 7-6(3).
It took another four hours for an American to emerge victorious. It was Grace Min who finished the day with a third Charleston win in a row for the US at 7:39 p.m., edging Michelle Larcher de Brito, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
Not all news was good news for the home squad.
Chanelle Scheepers and Alison Riske opened up Stadium Court this morning. After a nice first set, Riske faded and Scheepers advanced, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Petra Cetkovska won a see-saw match over Varvara Lepchenko, 6-1, 2-6, 6-0.
Qualifier Alla Kudryavtseva advanced over Christina McHale, 6-3, 7-5.
And the scrappy Jana Cepelova took out Melanie Oudin, 7-6(2), 6-2.
The big match of the day not involving Americans was the upset of #29 Maria Kirlenko at the hands of Swiss Miss Belinda Bencic, who I like to call “Fed-Ette”. It has a much better ring than “Baby Hingis”.
Kirlienko was listless and erratic, but mad props to Fed-Ette for her composure in that third set. Other players would have dropped the set and the entire match with the pressure on. Chair Guru Eva Asderaki blew a call late in the third, but Bencic was able to brush it off. Bencic moves on to the second round, 6-1, 7-5.
Yaroslava Shvedova always has a trick up her sleeve. Today, she came out strong, retreated and saved her energy for a three set win over Saisai Zheng, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.
Teliana Pereira beat Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 6-1, 7-6(5).
Virginie Razzano came out swinging against Julia Goerges, 6-0, 5-7, 6-2.
Lucie Safarova knocked off Johanna Larsson 6-2, 6-3.
Alja Tomljanovic surprised Stefanie Voegele, 6-7(4), 6-1, 7-5.
Kiki Bertens has won three matches in a row in Charleston, following up her qualifying wins this weekend with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Paula Ormaechea.
Elina Svitolina won it by a nose over Jarmila Gajdosova, 6-1, 7-5, 7-6(5), the second straight match in which the Aussie had trouble shutting the door. She got away with it yesterday against Taylor Townsend, but not today.
Shelby Rogers and Daniela Hantuchova kick it off on Stadium tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., with Serena Williams headlining the nightcap at 7:00 p.m.
RESULTS – MARCH 31, 2014
Singles – First Round
 L Safarova (CZE) d J Larsson (SWE) 62 63
[Q] B Bencic (SUI) d  M Kirilenko (RUS) 61 75
 M Keys (USA) d M Lucic-Baroni (CRO) 76(0) 76(3)
J Cepelova (SVK) d [WC] M Oudin (USA) 76(2) 62
P Cetkovska (CZE) d V Lepchenko (USA) 61 26 60
[Q] G Min (USA) d [Q] M Larcher de Brito (POR) 63 16 63
T Pereira (BRA) d P Mayr-Achleitner (AUT) 61 76(5)
[Q] K Bertens (NED) d P Ormaechea (ARG) 75 36 63
E Svitolina (UKR) d [Q] J Gajdosova (AUS) 61 57 76(5)
Y Shvedova (KAZ) d [Q] S Zheng (CHN) 62 36 75
V Razzano (FRA) d J Goerges (GER) 60 57 62
[Q] A Kudryavtseva (RUS) d C Mchale (USA) 63 75
C Scheepers (RSA) d A Riske (USA) 46 62 63
ORDER OF PLAY – TUESDAY, APRIL 01, 2014
BILLIE JEAN KING start 10:00 am
 D Hantuchova (SVK) vs [WC] S Rogers (USA)
Not Before 11:30 am
B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) vs  V Williams (USA)
 S Stosur (AUS) vs Y Shvedova (KAZ)
 E Bouchard (CAN) vs [Q] A Kudryavtseva (RUS)
Not Before 7:00 pm
 S Williams (USA) vs J Cepelova (SVK)
J Husarova (SVK) / V Lepchenko (USA) vs  J Goerges (GER) / A Groenefeld (GER)
ALTHEA GIBSON start 10:00 am
 S Zhang (CHN) vs S Hsieh (TPE)
 A Petkovic (GER) vs [Q] L Tsurenko (UKR)
T Pereira (BRA) vs  S Cirstea (ROU)
V Razzano (FRA) vs  L Safarova (CZE)
A Rosolska (POL) / C Scheepers (RSA) vs [WC] S Cirstea (ROU) / M Kirilenko (RUS)
COURT 3 start 10:00 am
V King (USA) vs J Glushko (ISR)
A Medina Garrigues (ESP) vs L Dominguez Lino (ESP)
M Erakovic (NZL) vs [WC] N Petrova (RUS)
L Huber (USA) / L Raymond (USA) vs [WC] J Jankovic (SRB) / A Petkovic (GER)
COURT 4 start 12:00 noon
A Schmiedlova (SVK) vs  E Vesnina (RUS)
Not Before 2:00 pm
C Garcia (FRA) vs S Peng (CHN)