Charleston continues its run of top notch events this week with the Family Circle Cup, featuring the steely nerves of some of the world’s top-ranked tennis players. The eight top seeds got byes for their first rounds and were thus forced/freed up to interact with the media on Monday afternoon.

These women are like a special genetic breed: taller, stronger, and more focused and determined than the rest of us lollygaggers. A four-hour workout makes them feel good. Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki was relaxed and beaming with a blonde ponytail and suntan. She said she’s sad that her buddy Serena Williams didn’t make it to the tournament but that her friends will soon be celebrating her 21st birthday in Monte Carlo.

The athletes were grilled about their favorite tournaments, foods, music, charities, and beauty products. Some answers were heard over and again: I’m 21. I LOVE sushi. Rihanna and J.Lo. My iPad comforts me on the road. Sunblock. Mascara. I don’t really wear makeup.

Adjusting their games to playing on clay courts and dealing with the wind seem to pose the biggest challenges to the players, besides their competition. Belgian star Yanina Wickmayer espoused her stay-tough mantras of, “It is not okay to give up” and, “Keep believing, sometimes you can turn it around.” Good advice for all of us.

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