CHARLESTON, SC, USA - All three first round doubles matches that were played Tuesday at the Family Circle Cup were extended to match tie-breaks, including Jelena Jankovic and Andrea Petkovic's win over two legendary doubles players.
Jankovic and Petkovic are playing just their fourth event together and first since their first round loss here last year. And they were facing off against Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond, both former doubles World No.1s, Grand Slam winners and Charleston champions. And a pocket of their success has come alongside each other, with Huber and Raymond collecting 10 WTA titles as a duo in 2011 and 2012, including the 2011 US Open and WTA Championships.
Nevertheless, despite losing nine more points than they won, Jankovic and Petkovic pulled out a 75 26 107 victory.
"We get along great and we just know what the other one is going to do," Petkovic said. "We were having so much fun. That is why I love playing with JJ. You get back to the essence of tennis, why we started playing in the beginning. Because we had fun hitting the ball and running all over the place. We really tried to win this match. It was a good match.
"When we came to the court, it was already packed. People couldn't get in. I told JJ, 'You're a superstar! What's happening here?' It's so nice to play tennis in front of such a crowd. It was just a great atmosphere."
Fellow wildcard entrants Sorana Cirstea and Maria Kirilenko rallied from a set and a break down for a 46 63 119 triumph over Alicja Rosolska and Chanelle Scheepers. A day after Kirilenko lost in her first singles match of the year, this was her first doubles match of 2014.
The lone seeds in action, fourth-seeded Germans Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld, regrouped after their 62 31 lead disappeared for a 62 67(3) 105 defeat of Janette Husarova and Varvara Lepchenko.
"We were a little bit more aggressive in the match tie-break and that gave us the edge in the end," Groenefeld said. "It helped us that we were able to close out a few at the net."
Groenefeld had some nice things to say about this historic tournament.
"It's called the Family Circle Cup and it's really like family here," Groenefeld said. "It seems like it's the same people here every year, and they know you and make you feel welcome. All the players enjoy coming here."