Defending Champ Petkovic Highlights Delightful Tuesday Line-Up
By: Nick McCarvel
If you’re a former champion here at the Volvo Car Open, Tuesday is your day to play.
So it seems with a blockbuster line-up that features 2014 winner Andrea Petkovic, 2010 champ Sam Stosur and 2007 Cup holder Jelena Jankovic all slated on the order of play.
Petkovic returns to the Family Circle Tennis Center with a smile on her face, concocting one of the best years of her career after her triumph on Daniel Island 12 months ago. She has won three more titles since then and was a semifinalist at the French Open. The oft-smiling German plays at 7pm in the evening session against Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa.
Stosur and Jankovic anchor a day session that’s full of can’t-miss tennis: The Australian starts the day on Billie Jean King Stadium against Sesil Karatantcheva while Jankovic is scheduled third for that court against a German named Tatjana Maria. In between those matches is another tennis fans won’t want to miss: American star Sloane Stephens taking on Bethanie Mattek-Sands, a re-match of their first-round encounter here two years ago, won by the elder Mattek-Sands.
Tuesday also features seeds Angelique Kerber (fourth on Stadium), Belinda Bencic (second on Althea Gibson Club Court), Varvara Lepchenko (third on Club Court), Caroline Garcia (fourth on Club Court) and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (first on Court 3).
Doubles always delights at the Cup, and that’s no different Tuesday. No. 2 seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears of the U.S. are due on court in the night session following Petkovic’s match, while former champion Lisa Raymond is pairing with rising star Madison Keys (third on Court 3). Three more doubles matches are scheduled for play on one of the busiest days of the tournament.
Charleston fans might remember Bencic from a year ago, the then-17-year-old dazzling in an unexpected run to the semifinals as a qualifier. Now 18 and a seed, Bencic will face a stiff challenge from Australia’s Casey Dellacqua.
But it’s a special occasion to have three former winners all in action on one day, Petkovic, Stosur and Jankovic combining for a 41-15 record here overall. Stosur also captured the doubles title in 2006.
In the all-American tangle, Stephens would look to have the upper edge against Mattek-Sands, who is continuing to make her way back from an injury. Sloane, the 2013 Australian Open semifinalist, made deep runs in both Indian Wells and Miami heading into this week.
The top two seeds here – Genie Bouchard and Ekaterina Makarova – will play Wednesday following first-round byes.