Charleston, SC, United States (4E Sports) – Jana Cepelova pulled off the biggest upset at the Family Circle Cup Tuesday, ousting No. 1 Serena Williams, 6-4, 6-4, in the opening round of the event.
Williams, a three-time champion here, lost the first five games of the match and failed to found her range against the No. 78 Cepelova.
Cepelova, who had never beaten a Top 15 player before, is now the fourth Slovak to beat a reigning World No.1, after countrywomen Katerina Studenikova, Dominika Cibulkova and Daniela Hantuchova.
“Obviously things didn’t go great out there, but she was a great counterpuncher today and hit a lot of balls back,” Williams said. “I really knew nothing about her game going into the match, so she played a really good match against me today.”
Williams, still fresh from her Sony Open Tennis win, said the different surface and his taped thigh were never an issue.
“No,” Williams said. “I actually made the turnaround really, really well. I’m really just dead. I need some weeks off where I don’t think about tennis and can kind of regroup. I’ve had a long couple of years.”
In other second-round matches Tuesday, Teliana Pereira outlasted No. 8 Sorana Cirstea, 3-6, 6-3, 76(0) and No. 6 Eugenie Bouchard crushed Russian qualifier Alla Kudryavtseva, 6-2, 6-0. Other winners were Sam Stosur and Lucie Safarova.
In Wednesday’s second-round showdown, the winners were Elina Svitolina, Daniela Hantuchova and Elena Vesnina.