Friday, March 21, 2014
Two of the five main draw wild cards for the 2014 Family Circle Cup, taking place March 29 – April 6, have been allocated.
The Charleston-based tournament has extended one to its 2006 Champion, Nadia Petrova, and one to fan favorite and local, Shelby Rogers.
With this, the player field now has six returning champions; Petrova joins the company of Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Sabine Lisicki, Jelena Jankovic and Samantha Stosur. Rogers brings the American player list to 10, the most American entries in the main draw since 2001 when 11 players from the U.S. played.
“We love giving deserving athletes an opportunity to play in the Family Circle Cup's main draw,” said Eleanor Adams, Family Circle Cup Tournament Manager. “Nadia and Shelby both have strong ties to our tournament's history. Nadia as a past champion, and Shelby as winner of our Dunlop Junior tournament and beloved by our city.“
WTA veteran Petrova was among a groundbreaking clan of players who led the Russian revolution in women's tennis at the beginning of the millennium. Since 2005, Petrova has collected 37 WTA titles, 13 in singles and 24 in doubles, and has held a career-high ranking of World No. 3 in both.
In 2006, Petrova captured the coveted Family Circle Cup title, as the No. 2 seed, defeating Patty Schnyder in the final, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1, culminating a 15-match winning streak. Petrova holds a 13-6 record at the tournament and is ranked seventh in money leaders with $404,570 in total prize earnings.
Petrova is one of 35 players in the Open Era to have achieved 500-plus professional career singles wins, with a W/L record of 529-295. Her 2013 singles season was mostly marred by injury, but she recorded a successful doubles season with partner Katarina Srebotnik, winning three WTA doubles titles (Sydney, Miami, Eastbourne) and qualifying for the WTA Championships.
Charleston-native Rogers is among a slew of young Americans vying to be part of the next generation of U.S. tennis superstars. She grew up on the green clay courts of the Family Circle Tennis Center and was a member of the Family Circle Cup's ball crew. She began her professional tennis career in 2009 and in 2012 captured her first title on the ITF circuit and has since won four more.
This season, Rogers recorded her first Grand Slam singles match win in the first round of Roland Garros over France's Irena Pavlovic before losing in three tight sets to World No. 20, Carla Suarez Navarro. Rogers also made a main draw appearance in the 2013 U.S. Open. Her best result of 2014 happened last week in Indian Wells when she made a 2nd-round appearance, which led to Rogers' current WTA ranking of No. 110, her highest ever.
The Family Circle Cup's remaining three wild cards, including two top-20 players, will be announced at a later date.