Charleston's Shelby Rogers Wins Family Circle Cup Opener
Last Updated: 4/6/2015 3:29 PM ET
By: Nick McCarvel
Charleston native Shelby Rogers is batting back tears of joy this time around.
The WTA rising star who grew up in Mount Pleasant won her first-ever Family Circle Cup match Monday afternoon, beating Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain 6-3, 6-1 in a first-round encounter.
The 22-year-old Rogers, ranked the world No. 80, dominated after the two players split the first six games, winning nine of the final 10 games of the match.
“I’m still about to cry… but happy tears this time,” Rogers said, breaking into a smile. “There are so many memories that come flooding back when I’m here.”
Rogers is playing in the Cup for the fifth time and the main draw for the third time. She's had a career-best year over the last 12 months on the WTA, reaching her first final in Bad Gastein.
She reached a career-high No. 70 in the world in September of last year. Rogers could potentially face former junior world No. 1 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in round two, the No. 14 seed here.
“It’s been a goal of mine for a while,” Rogers said of a victory here. “I’ve had some tough matches here but they have made me a little stronger and a little tougher so I think I get to enjoy this one today.”