Defending champion Serena Williams will begin her campaign in Charleston following a memorable fortnight in Miami where she successfully defended her title. Her first match at the Family Circle Cup comes against Slovakia’s Jana Cepelova, whom she has never faced previously on the professional tour. It should be a short, yet entertaining contest.
World No. 1 Serena Williams is coming off a fantastic fortnight in Miami, where she defeated the likes of Angelique Kerber, Maria Sharapova and finalist Li Na to win the title. It was the American’s seventh title at that event, which is two more than previous record holder Steffi Graf. She has also reached the finals here on nine occasions, making it one of her most successful tournaments on the WTA tour. Now she arrives at the Family Circle Cup, where she is looking to win a third consecutive title at the event. She has not lost in Charleston since 2007, where she exited in the second round to qualifier Yung-Jan Chan.
World No. 78 Jana Cepelova reached worked her way through the qualifying round in Miami, but would exit in the first round against Australia’s Casey Dellacqua. She would then try her luck in the ITF Osprey event, where she reached the semi-final before losing to top seed Marina Erakovic. Now in Charleston, Cepelova is through to the second round following a 7-6, 6-3 victory over Melanie Oudin. She currently holds a 9-8 record so far this season and will be faced with her toughest challenge yet in world No. 1 Serena Williams.
This marks the first time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour and will likely be a one-sided contest heavily favouring the defending champion. Williams is riding the momentum of her Miami title defence and will be looking to successfully defend yet another title this week, starting with an emphatic statement against Cepelova on Tuesday evening.
Prediction: Serena Williams in Straight Sets