At Family Circle Cup, Stosur deals with rain before Williams sisters
But before all that, the rain.
Those are among the obstacles standing between Samantha Stosur and a second Family Circle Cup championship.
Stosur, who won the Cup two years ago and is the reigning U.S. Open champion, had her third-round tennis match postponed by rain Thursday night at Stadium Court on Daniel Island. Leading Galina Voskoboeva 4-2 in the first set, the second-seeded Stosur will have to finish off that match at 11 a.m. today before pondering the Williams sisters.
Assuming she finishes off the 50th-ranked Voskoboeva, world No. 5 Stosur will get Venus Williams in today’s quarterfinals and then — barring upset — a rematch with Serena Williams in Saturday’s semifinals.
The 28-year-old Stosur took Serena, 6-2, 6-3, in the U.S. Open final last year for her only Grand Slam title.
But Stosur is 0-4 against Venus, losing, 6-3, 6-3, the last time they met, on clay in Madrid two years ago. Sam vs. Venus— even a Venus on the mend from illness and ranked just No. 87 — should be a slugfest, especially on green clay.
“She has such an interesting game, because she’s one of the power players,” Venus, who won the FCC in 2004, said of Stosur. “But clay courts suit her very well. I think with that spin, it gives her time to really hit the shots that she likes.”
Serena’s quarterfinal pits two Family Circle Cup champs, as Serena took the title in 2008 and 22-year-old German Sabine Lisicki won it in 2009. Lisicki, seeded sixth, has faced Serena only once, losing 6-1, 6-2, on hard courts last year.
While Stosur and the Williams sisters do battle in the top-heavy right side of the bracket, the left side has less star power. Nadia Petrova, the 2006 Family Circle champ, and former world No. 2 Vera Zvonareva, both from Russia, are the leading ladies in the quarters on that side.
The fourth-seeded Zvonareva needed three sets to get past Stefanie Voegele, while No. 13 Petrova cruised past countrywoman Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets.
In the quarters, Petrova gets 21-year-old Polona Hercog, who pulled off the upset of the day, knocking out No. 3 seed Marion Bartoli 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. Hercog, seeded 14th, has risen to No. 38 in the world from No. 243 just four years ago, and won her only WTA singles title last summer on clay in Bastad, Sweden.
Zvonareva will face ninth-seeded Lucie Safarova, a 25-year-old Czech who beat Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak in three sets. Zvonareva was No. 2 in the world just two years ago, but she’s fought through injury and illness in recent months.
“If I can stay healthy,” she said, “i can really start getting back to that form and I can really play freely the way I want to play.”