Six of the World's Top Ten Players to Play this Year
6/27/2002 - Lara Potter
STANFORD, Calif. – Six of the world’s top 10 players, including No. 1 ranked Venus Williams, two-time Bank of the West Classic champions Monica Seles and Lindsay Davenport, defending champion Kim Clijsters, 2002 German Open champion Justine Henin, and 2002 Sarasota Open and Birmingham Open champion Jelena Dokic, will be playing at the 2002 Bank of the West Classic, July 22-28, at Taube Family Tennis Stadium, on the Stanford University campus.
Five players, who are scheduled to compete at the Bank of the West Classic, are still in the running for tennis’ most coveted title, the Wimbledon Championship. Those players to watch include Venus Williams, Monica Seles, Justine Henin, Jelena Dokic, and Tamarine Tanasugarn.
The Bank of the West Classic is a Sanex WTA Tour Tier II event, featuring a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw. Total prize money for the event is $585,000.
Williams, currently ranked No. 1 in the world, has captured the last two Wimbledon trophies, and is expected to once again play in the finals. She has blazed into the third round without any trouble and is now scheduled to face Maureen Drake on Saturday, June 29 at Wimbledon. She owns 25 career Sanex WTA Tour singles titles, including four Grand Slam titles (2000 and 2001 U.S. Open, 2000 and 2001 Wimbledon) and an Olympic gold medal. At the French Open this year, she made it to the finals before losing to her sister Serena. In addition to her success as a singles player, Williams has won eight career Sanex WTA Tour doubles titles, including four Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal, with her sister Serena. In addition, Venus won the 2000 Bank of the West Classic.
Seles, currently ranked No. 4, is in the hunt for her first Wimbledon title. She is currently in the third round of competition and is scheduled to compete against Ai Sugiyama on Saturday, June 29. She already owns 52 singles titles, including nine Grand Slam championships. Two of those titles came from wins at the Bank of the West Classic in 1990 and 1992. Previously she has held the No. 1 ranking for 178 weeks and has earned more than $13.5 million in career prize money.
Clijsters, currently ranked No. 5, has won seven career Sanex WTA Tour singles titles and defeated compatriot Justine Henin to make it to the semifinals at this year’s Australian Open. The 18-year-old Belgian has earned more than $1.8 million in career prize money and is the reining Bank of the West Classic Champion. Clijsters became a second round upset victim at Wimbledon this year in a surprise encounter with Elena Likhovtseva.
Henin, currently ranked No. 6, was a finalist at Wimbledon last year. She is currently in the third round of competition at Wimbledon and is scheduled to compete against Myriam Casanova on Saturday, June 29. Henin is definitely a player to watch at this years Bank of the West Classic, as she and compatriot Clijsters bring a dominating Belgium force to Northern California. She has captured five Sanex WTA Tour singles titles since turning pro in 1999. In 2002, she has won the German Open, made it to three finals (Gold Coast, Antwerp, and Amelia Island) and was a quarterfinalist at the Australian Open.
Dokic, currently ranked No. 7, has once again made it into the fourth round at Wimbledon by defeating Nathalie Dechy. Her best showing at Wimbledon came in 2000, when she made it to the semifinals before losing to Davenport. Since turning pro in 1998, she has captured five Sanex WTA Tour singles titles, including this year at the Sarasota Open, where she won both the singles and doubles title, and the singles title at the Birmingham Open. She has also reached the finals at Paris and Strasbourg and the quarterfinals at the French Open. She is now set to compete against Daniela Hantuchova in the fourth round at Wimbledon on Monday, July 1.
Davenport, currently ranked No. 8, holds 37 career Sanex WTA Tour singles titles, including three Grand Slam crowns (1998 U.S. Open, 1999 Wimbledon and 2000 Australian Open) and an Olympic gold medal. She has earned more than $14 million in career prize money and has spent a total of 37 weeks ranked No. 1 in the world. The 25-year-old Southern California native also holds 31 career Sanex WTA Tour doubles titles. Davenport won the Bank of the West Classic in 1998 and 1999. Since January, Davenport has been sidelined due to a right-knee injury that was aggravated during the 2001 season ending championships. Her first tournament back on tour is scheduled to be the Bank of the West Classic.
Tanasugarn, currently ranked No. 24, has made it into the fourth round at Wimbledon the last four years in a row, but to do it again this year, she is going to have to first get past Meilen Tu on Saturday, June 29. In addition to holding three Sanex WTA doubles titles, she was a member of the Thai Olympic team in 1996 and 2000, and a member of the Thai Fed Cup team in 2000.
Other top 25 players scheduled to play at the Bank of the West Classic include No. 16 Meghann Shaughnessy of the United States, No. 17 Anna Smashnova of Israel, No. 21 Daja Bedanova of the Czech Republic, No. 23 Tatiana Panova of Russia, and No. 24 Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand.
Rounding out the field are Americans Lisa Raymond, Alexandra Stevenson, and Chanda Rubin; Rita Grande and Francesca Schiavone of Italy; Emmanuelle Gagliardi and Marie-Gaianeh Mikaelian of Switzerland; Daja Bedanova of the Czech Republic; Ai Sugiyama of Japan; Nicole Pratt of Australia; and Janette Husarova of Slovakia. Four positions will be filled by qualifiers and three with wild card selections.
One of the three wild card entries has been awarded to Anna Kournikova, who has already this year made it to the semifinals at Auckland, Tokyo, and Acapulco. The other two wild cards will be announced prior to the draw ceremony, to be held on Saturday, July 20.
Now celebrating its 32nd year, the Bank of the West Classic, is the longest-running women-only professional tennis tournament in the world. The Taube Family Tennis Stadium has hosted the event since 1997. Before then, the tournament was held at the Oakland Coliseum Arena and the San Francisco Civic Auditorium. Last year, more than 45,000 fans embraced this summer classic. Previous winners include Venus Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Martina Navratilova, Zina Garrison, Chris Evert, and Hana Mandlikova.
2002 - Player field
Scheduled to appear
• Venus Williams - 1
• Lindsay Davenport - 6
• Kim Clijsters - 5
• Monica Seles - 4
• Justine Henin - 7