Unbeatable Serena Williams recorded her fifteenth match win in a row at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston and her third straight title at the tournament (having previously won it in 2008 and 2012 and not playing in between), by bouncing back from the loss of the first set and beating resurgent Jelena Jankovic in this year’s final.
After surviving a game longer than 10 minutes and holding for 2-2 in the first set, Jankovic broke Serena at love and with great defense, precise shots and good serving she managed to steal the set from the powerful Serena, converting both the break opportunities she earned. The momentum then shifted big time, though, as Serena stormed through the second set. Jankovic sort of stopped the surge in the beginning of the third set, holding her serve in the opening game, but two on-the-line winners earned Serena a break in the third game and little by little and on the third match point, she marched on to the title and the $125,000 check. It’s crucial to note that in the third set of the encounter, Jankovic had been on the court during the tournament more than twice as long as Serena.
It’s redundant to say much about Serena. She’s such a force in women’s tennis right now that her titles are not even news. The 2013 Charleston title is the 49th in her career and third this season (after Brisbane and Miami). As for JJ, she can be proud of following up her Miami semifinals with the final in Charleston in which she even managed to take a set off Serena. In her post-match speech, Jankovic was satisfied and smiling and said that next time she can only hope that Serena will play a bit worse. True, that’s the only way anyone can beat her. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)