Mary at Acura Classic!!!
Serena, Davenport, Petrova, Pierce set for Acura
By Jerry Magee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
July 11, 2006
A nice little tennis tournament, Wimbledon. Of course, its women's field this year did not measure up to what they're going to have at the Acura Classic.
Because of injuries, Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Nadia Petrova and Mary Pierce were nonparticipants during the recent fortnight in London. Players can change their minds, but those four are down to compete at the La Costa Resort and Spa in the WTA Tour event scheduled July 29-Aug. 6.
One blight on the Acura: The Wimbledon champion won't be participating. Amelie Mauresmo makes it her practice to vacation in the south of France during the first week of August. She twice has shown up at La Costa and twice has lost in the first round, which might have something to do with why she has not entered this time.
The Acura's defending champion is Pierce, who has been idled since February by an inflammation in her right foot. But Raquel Giscafre of Promotion Sports Inc., which operates the Acura, said she has been advised that Pierce intends to make the $1.34 million tournament at La Costa the occasion of her return to the tour. “I think we will have a better field than Wimbledon,” Giscafre said.
Davenport withdrew from Wimbledon because of a back problem, but Giscafre said the Southern California woman is entered in the Stanford tournament preceding the Acura. Davenport is a two-time winner at La Costa (1998, 2004) and can be expected to return unless her back is troubling her excessively.
Having triumphed at Doha, Amelia Island, Charleston and Berlin, Petrova would have been among the favorites at Wimbledon had she been able to play. A muscle injury suffered while yielding to Akiko Morigami in the opening round of the French Open eliminated her in London, where she likely would have been available if doctors in Great Britain were willing to prescribe cortisone injections.
With the exception of Grand Slam events, the Williams sisters generally have not presented themselves together, but Venus is a three-time Acura champion and Serena has accepted a wild card into this year's draw that was awarded at her agent's suggestion. Giscafre said her understanding is that Serena has been working industriously at her Florida base preparing to rejoin the tour at a $175,000 event beginning July 17 in Cincinnati.
By Giscafre's count, 22 of the 24 top-ranked women have entered the Acura.