Serena Williams crashed out of the Family Circle Cup today, falling 4-6 4-6 to Jana Cepelova. Fighting an injury that required a visit from the trainer early in the second set, Serena was unable to overcome her feisty, consistent opponent. This was not the start I imagine Nike envisioned for Serena’s new tennis kit, a sharp black and gray number. In her post-match presser, Serena pointed to fatigue and an impossible schedule over the last two years that have finally left her needing a break from the tour.
For Serena's thoughts after the match, click here.
Venus also threatened an early exit, before rallying to take her match 6-3 0-6 7-5. Vee had been fighting a bug that limited her movement in the second set, suffering a bagel at the hands of Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. Having fought her way through to the finish line, the draw is now wide open for Venus to continue her remarkable return to form in 2014. Eugenie Bouchard awaits her in the 3rd round.
Pam Shriver had some choice words about Serena's shock loss today:
I'm not sure exactly what Pam was trying to say here. Perhaps she was trying to make a case for giving the spotlight to some of the younger players on tour? Whatever the intent, it was a certain misstep from the tennis veteran. It came off as a personal slight against Serena, and petty. These WTA tournaments survive because of the star power of players like Serena and Venus showing up and making deep runs. Does the paying public in Charleston want to see a Cepelova/Tomljanovic final? There's a fine balance to be struck in the give and take between developing new talent and the survival of the WTA Tour on the backs of its established stars. I'd love for Pam to clarify what she meant by the tweet.