Kim & Justine commit to West Bank C/P
Ok we're all Roland Garros focused but i found this tid-bit and thought i'd share it.
RISING YOUNG BELGIAN STARS
KIM CLIJSTERS, JUSTINE HENIN TO PLAY AT 2002 BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC,
JULY 22-28, AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY
For the First Time in History, Two Belgian Players Rank Together in the Top Five
STANFORD, Calif. - Rising young Belgian stars Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin have committed to play in the 2002 Bank of the West Classic, July 22-28, at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium on the Stanford University campus.
By virtue of a strong first half of the season, Clijsters and Henin became the first two Belgian players to rank among the top five in the Sanex WTA rankings simultaneously, and together this year they were awarded the Trophee National du Merite Sportif (Trophy for National Sporting Excellence) from the Belgian government. It was only the second time since 1933 (when the award began), that a tennis player has been honored (last time was in 1957) and this marks the first time the award has been given to women tennis players.
Clijsters, ranked No. 4, the defending champion, has won seven career Sanex WTA Tour singles titles. She defeated Henin to make it to the semifinals at this year's Australian Open, marking the first appearance in the semifinals ever by a Belgian woman. Clijsters reached a career-high rank of No. 3, on March 4, making her the eighth youngest player to reach that spot, and the first Belgian to rank that high.
Henin, currently ranked No. 5, has captured five Sanex WTA Tour singles titles since turning pro in 1999, including this year's German Open. In 2002, she has also made five final appearances, including Gold Coast, Antwerp, Amelia Island, and most recently, the Italian Open, all of which were against Venus or Serena Williams. Venus Williams is also entered in the 2002 Bank of the West Classic. Henin also made her first quarterfinal appearance at the Australian Open.
"Close on each other's heels, Clijsters and Henin will continue to be two players to watch throughout the season as they vie for the Sanex WTA No. 1 world ranking," said Bank of the West Tournament Director Peter Tatum. "It will be the first time that two Belgian women of this stature will be participating at the Bank of the West Classic, and we look forward to having them compete along with some of the biggest names in women's tennis."
Henin and Clijsters, will join No. 2 ranked Venus Williams, and two-time Bank of the West Classic champions Lindsay Davenport and Monica Seles in the tournament draw.
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.
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.