Former Cup Ball Girl to Make WTA Premier Event Debut inHometown
CHARLESTON, SC – March 16, 2011 – Shelby Rogers, an18-year-old Daniel Island resident, is the first player from the Charlestonarea to be granted a Main Draw Wild Card into the Family Circle Cup. Rogers began her formal tennis instruction atthe Family Circle Tennis Center in 2001 at the age of eight, and that year shemade her Family Circle Cup stadium court debut as a ball crew member assignedto present flowers to 2001 Cup Champion Jennifer Capriati during the singlesfinal trophy presentation. Ten yearslater, she returns with a career high World No. 328 ranking and an opportunityto bring this storybook tale full circle. Rogers will make her WTA Premier Event Main Draw debut in a player fieldled by World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, Samantha Stosur, Maria Sharapova, JelenaJankovic, Shahar Peer, Nadia Petrova, Daniela Hantuchova, Melanie Oudin, andSabine Lisicki. Marking the tournament’s39th consecutive year, the Family Circle Cup is scheduled April 2-10, 2011 atthe Family Circle Tennis Center in the Best Tennis Town in America, Charleston,SC.
Shelby Rogers (above left) made her Family Circle Cup stadium court debut as a ball crew member assignedto present flowers to 2001 Cup Champion Jennifer Capriati during the singlesfinal trophy presentation (below).
“We’ve watched Shelby Rogers’ talent develop since she firstbegan to train at our facility in 2001,” said Eleanor Adams, Family Circle CupTournament Manager. “She has posted some truly incredible results over the lastyear, including her Singles title at the USTA National Championships and hervery strong play at the US Open. Shelbyhas earned the main draw wild card, her record speaks for itself. She has talent and has proven she is a futurestar, so we’re excited to reward our hometown standout for her outstandingachievements with a Main Draw Wild Card into this year’s Family Circle Cup.”
Rogers was granted a Qualifying Wild Card into the 2010Family Circle Cup as winner of that year’s Girls 18 division in the SMASH Jr.Cup, the Family Circle Tennis Center marquis junior event. In her WTA debut,she lost a close 3-set match to fellow American Christina McHale in front of2,500 fans, a capacity crowd, and the largest ever to fill Althea Gibson ClubCourt during the Cup. She alsoparticipated in an exhibition doubles match during the Cup that year,partnering with Charleston fan-favorite Patty Schnyder to win a night match onFamily Circle stadium court.
Rogers then went on to improve her World No. 926 ranking toher current career-high World No. 328 rank, largely on the merits of severalhigh-profile finishes throughout her 2010 campaign. That season included a title at the USTAGirls’ 18 National Championships, earning her a US Open Main Draw Wild Card, aswell as quarterfinal or better appearances at several ITF events includingPlantation, Florida, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Indian Harbor Beach,Florida.
“I’ve had a great year and I’m playing the best tennis of mylife right now, so I’m very excited to compete against the top players in theworld right here in my back yard,” said Rogers. “When I was a Family Circle Cup ball girl back in 2001, I never dreamedthat I’d have a chance to compete on the same stage as my childhood heroes. I’ve been coming to this tournament most ofmy life as a spectator, and with the help of all my local fans, I hope to breakthrough at this historic event, like so many other young players have in thepast.”
Rogers will be scheduled to play her first round match oneither Monday, April 4th or Tuesday, April 5th.
“I feel like I have a home-court advantage at the FamilyCircle Tennis Center, where I train every day,” added Rogers.
Ticket packages, travel packages, individual sessiontickets, and Game, Set, Rock! Tennis. Amplified. presented by Dove® tickets areon-sale now at familycirclecup.com, where fans can also visit for continuousupdates on player commitments as the event approaches.
The Family Circle Tennis Center
The Family Circle Tennis Center, home of the Family CircleCup, is a public facility owned by the City of Charleston and operated byMeredith Corporation that also hosts a variety of additional events includingconcerts, festivals, tennis tournaments and other activities throughout theyear. Charleston, South Carolina bested81 U.S. cities in being voted the Best Tennis Town in America in the UnitedStates Tennis Association’s (USTA) 2010 contest. The Family Circle Cup receives four days oflive broadcast domestically on ESPN2, and is viewed internationally by over 25countries, featuring over 140 hours of live and delayed global broadcast time,reaching 4.33 million viewers worldwide. With over 21 million readers, Family Circle is one of the most widelyread monthly magazines in America and is one of 14 leading subscriptionmagazines owned by Meredith Corporation. The Tennis Center features a 10,200seat stadium, Grand Lawn, 17 tennis courts lighted for night play, Pro Shop,and a full service event management staff capable of handling all aspects of anevent including ticketing, operations, sales, marketing, public relations, andfood & beverage. For tickets or moreinfo, call (843) 856-7900 or visit familycirclecup.com.