There is a buzz in the air on Daniel Island that’s more incessant than the no-see-ums at dusk. Venus and Serena Williams’ presence gives the Family Circle Cup major star power and a playful sibling rivalry, plus gives fans not one but two American players to cheer on at this years’ event.

Both sisters advanced Tuesday with Serena taking center court for the big night match against last year’s doubles winner and singles finalist Elena Vesnina. Their play wowed the crowd as Serena hit 11 aces, including the match point, but Vesnina kept it exciting by countering with her own 100 mph serves and power baseline game.

During the afternoon, center court seemed a slaughterhouse for the top seeds to finish off the little lambs, one after another, as three of the top players, Venus Williams, Vera Zvonareva, and possibly the fiercest of them all, Sam Stosur, made quick work of winning their matches.

Fan favorite from last year, Rodionova, played an incredible match against Medina Garrigues, drawing a big crowd for their exciting rallies, dropshots, and overhead smashes (but we are pretty sure some were there solely to check out Hot Rod’s legs). Rodionova finally took it after an exhausting final duel at deuce that went on almost half an hour.

The buzz for Wednesday is all about Venus’ 7 p.m. match against Jelena Jankovic. Both are former Family Circle Cup champions (’04 and ’07, respectively) and have a history of uberlong hard matches against each other, which makes tennis fans smug happy.

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.