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World No. 1 Justine Henin & World No. 3 Jelena Jankovic Enter 2008 Family Circle Cup

January 7, 2008 12:57 PM

As one of Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s top tier events, the Family Circle Cup is a tournament rich in history and tradition. For over three decades, this tournament has set the standard for excellence in the sport of women’s professional tennis. Continuing with that tradition, two of the world’s best players, World No. 1 Justine Henin and World No. 3 Jelena Jankovic, have officially entered the 2008 Family Circle Cup. Making her fourth appearance in Charleston, Justine Henin is a two-time Family Circle Cup champion and holds seven Grand Slam titles. Defending champion Jelena Jankovic will be returning for her fifth appearance at the Cup and has rapidly ascended the WTA Tour rankings after claiming this prestigious trophy in 2007. The Family Circle Cup, America’s only Tier I clay court event, is celebrating its 35th anniversary April 12th - 20th, 2008 at the Family Circle Tennis Center on Daniel Island in Charleston, SC.

“Both of these superstars are Family Circle Cup champions, at the pinnacle of their careers, and on top of the sport,” commented Robin Reynolds, Family Circle Cup Tournament Director. “Justine and Jelena are fierce competitors as well as fan-favorites. What better way to kick off our 35th anniversary than to announce these two great champions returning to Charleston.”

Firmly on top of the women’s game for the past two years, Justine Henin enjoyed a spectacular 2007 season where she boasted a 63-4 singles record (.940 winning percentage) and claimed 10 titles in only 14 events that included her third consecutive French Open crown, second US Open victory, and second consecutive Sony Ericsson Championship title. Henin became the first player to surpass $5 million in year-end earnings (her total of $5,429,586 bested Kim Clijsters’ record by nearly $1 million), increasing her career earnings to over $19 million. She also received several awards and accolades throughout the year including one of the sport’s top honors when she received the International Tennis Federation’s “World Champion” title.

Justine Henin won her first US title at the 2003 Family Circle Cup winning this event in her first appearance. She recaptured this important title as an unseeded player in 2005 and received the Family Circle Cup “Player Who Makes a Difference” award that same year for her charitable efforts off-court. After reaching the semifinals in Charleston during the 2006 Family Circle Cup, Henin now holds an impressive 14-1 record in this event.

Jelena Jankovic enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2007 where the 22 year-old Serbian standout notched her first Top 10 finish highlighted by four titles including her first Tier I championship in Charleston and her second in Rome. Her meteoric rise began as she made her Top 10 debut after a strong performance at the Australian Open then rose to No. 7 after her Charleston victory, broke into the Top 5 after Berlin, and reached a career-high of No. 3 after a semifinal appearance at Roland Garros becoming the highest ranked Serbian woman in history. Jankovic also won the first Grand Slam title of her career in mixed doubles at Wimbledon, qualified for the Sony Ericsson Championships at No. 2 in Race, and marked the first time her yearly winnings exceeded $1 million

As defending champion of the Family Circle Cup, Jankovic holds a 6-3 record in Charleston. Garnering many awards and accolades in 2007 including the WTA Tour’s “ACES Award” for her off-court contributions, Jankovic was named the “Female Tennis Player of the Year” in Serbia and was chosen as a UNICEF National Ambassador to her home nation.

The 2008 Family Circle Cup will be held April 12th - 20th at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, South Carolina. The Family Circle Tennis Center is a public facility owned by the City of Charleston and 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 Tennis Center features a 10,200 seat stadium, a Grand Lawn, 17 tennis courts lighted for night play, a beach tennis court, a racquet club featuring a full service pro shop, and locker room facilities. Ticket packages, business hospitality options, and sponsorship opportunities are now available. For more information on the Family Circle Cup or Tennis Center, please call (843) 856-7900 or visit us on-line at www.familycirclecup.com.




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