Local Rising Star Receives Charleston WC
Published March 17, 2011 12:00
CHARLESTON, SC, USA - For a certain 18-year-old it will be a case of home court advantage at the Family Circle Cup, as Shelby Rogers became the first player from the Charleston area to be given a wildcard into the Premier event.
Rogers began her formal tennis instruction at the Family Circle Tennis Center in 2001 at age 8, and that year she made her center court debut there, presenting flowers to Jennifer Capriati. Ten years later she returns with a career-high of No.328 and a chance to bring this storybook tale full circle.
Rogers will make her WTA Premier event main draw debut in a field led by Caroline Wozniacki, Sam Stosur, Maria Sharapova, Jelena Jankovic, Shahar Peer, Nadia Petrova and Daniela Hantuchova. The tournament runs from April 2 to 10 in the Best Tennis Town in America: Charleston.
"We've watched Shelby Rogers' talent develop since she first began to train at our facility in 2001," Tournament Manager Eleanor Adams commented. "She has posted some truly incredible results over the last year, including her singles title at the USTA National Championships and her very strong play at the US Open. Her record speaks for itself. She has talent and has proven she is a future star, so we're excited to reward our hometown standout for her outstanding achievements with a wildcard into this year's Family Circle Cup."
Rogers was a wildcard into the qualifying draw last year. In her WTA debut, she lost to fellow American rising star Christina McHale in three sets in front of a capacity crowd of 2,500 fans on Althea Gibson Club Court, the biggest crowd ever at that court. Thanks to some impressive results on the ITF Circuit over the last year, Rogers has improved her ranking from No.926 to No.328.
"I've had a great year and am playing the best tennis of my life right now, so I'm very excited to compete against the top players in the world right here in my back yard," Rogers said. "When I was a ballgirl back in 2001, I never dreamed I'd have a chance to compete on the same stage as my childhood heroes. I've been coming to this tournament most of my life as a spectator, and with the help of all my local fans, I hope to break through at this historic event, like so many other young players have in the past. I feel like I have a home court advantage at the Family Circle Tennis Center, where I train every day."