Venus Williams, former World No. 1 and 2004 Family Circle Cup Champion, has officially entered the 2012 Charleston event.
Williams joins World No. 5 and 2010 Cup champion Samantha Stosur and World No. 8 Vera Zvonareva in a world class player field assembling on Daniel Island.
Marking the tournament's 40th year, the Family Circle Cup will be held March 31 – April 8, 2012 at the Family Circle Cup Tennis Center in the Best Tennis Town in America, Charleston, S.C.
"Venus Williams is an undeniably accomplished superstar with a huge presence about her, and she is very loved by our fans," said Eleanor Adams, Family Circle Cup Tournament Manager.
"She has such passion for the game, which makes it so exciting to watch her compete."
Williams' stellar career continues to make an indelible mark on the world of women's professional tennis. With 43 singles titles, including 14 majors, this 31-year-old has notched three gold medals in the Olympic games, and nearly $28 million in career earnings, placing her at the number two spot on the WTA career prize money leader list. She holds a career record of 598-147, including thirteen singles wins over the standing World No. 1 player.
"I'm very excited to return to the Family Circle Cup this year, especially because the Original 9 will be recognized for their significant contribution to women's professional tennis," said Venus Williams. "The WTA would not be where it is today without their pioneering spirit, and I'm so glad to be a part of this celebration."
In her four prior appearances in Charleston, Williams has accumulated an impressive 11-3 record. In 2004, she captured the Cup title as the number four seed, defeating two-time Champion Conchita Martinez in the final. Williams is one of five women to win the Cup in a debut appearance. While competing in Charleston, she has participated in many youth clinics and has made appearances at several charitable and community events.
"The fans and the atmosphere in Charleston always make it a thrilling tournament," added Williams.