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Defending Champion Justine Henin-Hardenne First To Enter 2006 Family Circle Cup

January 24, 2006 01:49 PM
Former world No. 1, and two-time Family Circle Cup champion, Justine Henin-Hardenne is the first player to enter this year’s Family Circle Cup. Currently ranked No. 6 in the world, and winner of 24 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles titles, including three Grand Slams, Henin-Hardenne won her first U.S. title at the Family Circle Cup in 2003. She will be defending her 2005 title and making her second main draw appearance at the Cup this spring on Daniel Island. Celebrating over three decades in women’s professional tennis, the Family Circle Cup is scheduled for April 8th - 16th at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, South Carolina.

“Justine is the only player in our tournament’s 33 year history that has a perfect Cup record with no losses which certainly reflects her competitive spirit,” stated Robin Reynolds, Tournament Director of the Family Circle Cup. “Justine is a great champion and she will always give fans her very best on the court.”

Henin-Hardenne won four tour titles in 2005, all on clay, including her second French Open championship. In winning her second Family Circle Cup in 2005, Henin-Hardenne became one of only two women in the tournament’s history to win the prestigious titles as an unseeded player. She set a record as the fourth WTA Tour player in the history of women’s tennis to complete an unbeaten clay-court season culminating in a French Open title. Following that Grand Slam victory she returned to the Top 10 (No.7) for first time since January 2005. Historically, her success in Charleston has been followed with a victory at Roland Garros. Last year she also won the “Player Who Makes a Difference” award for her charitable efforts off-court. She chose to donate the majority of the $20,000 grant money to her own foundation “Justine’s Winner’s Circle”, which funds important programs and special events for children around the world with cancer.

She has started her 2006 season off on a positive note by winning the Tier II Medibank International in Sydney. In Sydney, she defeated Martina Hingis in the first round, and No. 7 seed Francesca Schiavone (4-6, 7-5, 7-5) in a third-set comeback win in the final. With her victory in Sydney, she has won career earnings of nearly $9.5 million.

The 2006 Family Circle Cup will be held April 8-16 at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, South Carolina. The Family Circle Tennis Center is a public facility operated by Family Circle Magazine that hosts a variety of events including concerts, festivals, tennis events and other special activities throughout the year. With over 21 million readers, Family Circle is one of the most widely read monthly magazines in America and is one of 14 leading subscription magazines owned by Meredith Corporation. The Center features a 10,200 seat stadium, a Grand Lawn, 17 tennis courts, all lighted for night play, and a racquet club featuring a full service pro shop and locker room facilities. The Family Circle Tennis Center has a full service event management staff capable of handling all aspects of an event including ticketing, operations, sales, advertising, marketing and public relations. For more information on the Family Circle Tennis Center please call (843) 849-5300 or go online at www.familycirclecup.com.




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