NINE OF AMERICA’S TOP PLAYERS ARE SET TO COMPETE AT THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC
NINE OF AMERICA’S TOP PLAYERS
ARE SET TO COMPETE
AT THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC,
JULY 21-27, AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY
Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport & Jennifer Capriati
Lead the Charge of America’s Domination in Women’s Tennis
STANFORD, Calif. – Nine Americans, including three in the top 10, have committed to play at the 2003 Bank of the West Classic, July 21-27, at Taube Family Tennis Stadium on the Stanford University campus.
The list of Americans include world No. 1 Serena Williams, who will be playing in the Bay Area for the first time at the Bank of the West Classic, 1998 and 1999 Bank of the West champion and No. 5 ranked Lindsay Davenport, and 2002 Australian Open champion, ranked No. 7 Jennifer Capriati.
Rounding out the field of American players competing at the Bank of the West Classic is: Meghann Shaughnessy (No. 20), Lisa Raymond (No. 24), Alexandra Stevenson (No. 28), Laura Granville (No. 30), Ashley Harkleroad (No. 39), and Amy Frazier (No. 51).
The list of early commitments previously released also includes 2001 champion, 2003 French Open finalist, and currently competing in the semifinals at Wimbledon, No. 2 ranked Kim Clijsters and 2000 and 2002 semifinalist Anna Kournikova.
The Bank of the West Classic is a WTA Tour Tier II event, featuring a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw. Total prize money for the event is $635,000.
“As the first U.S. hard-court tournament leading up to the U.S. Open, we are really pleased to have a strong showing of American players,” Tournament Director Peter Tatum said. “In addition to having three Americans among the top-four players entered, we also are able to showcase five or six other top-ranked Americans, against an ever-growing contingent of powerful foreign players who will be competing in the U.S. this summer.”
Serena Williams, who is currently still competing at Wimbledon, has held the No. 1 ranking for the past 51 weeks. She owns 22 career WTA Tour singles titles, including five Grand Slam titles (1999 and 2002 U.S. Open, 2002 French Open, 2002 Wimbledon and 2003 Australian Open). In addition to her success as a singles player, Williams has won 11 career WTA Tour doubles titles, including eight Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal, with her sister Venus Williams. 2003 marks Serena’s first appearance at the Bank of the West Classic.
Davenport, currently ranked No. 5, holds 38 career 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 26-year-old Southern California native also holds 35 career WTA Tour doubles titles. Davenport won the Bank of the West Classic in 1998 and 1999.
Capriati, who is currently still competing at Wimbledon, currently ranked No. 7, has captured 13 WTA Tour singles titles, including three Grand Slam titles (2001 French Open and 2001 and 2002 Australian Open) and an Olympic gold medal. She has earned more than $7 million in career prize money and has spent a total of 17 weeks ranked No. 1 in the world.
Shaughnessy, currently ranked No. 20, has captured three WTA Tour singles titles including this year at Canberra, 2001 Quebec City and Shanghai in 2000. Already this year she has been a quarterfinalist at the Australian Open, a semifinalist at Scottsdale and a quarterfinalist at Gold Coast. At the 2001 Bank of the West Classic, Shaughnessy made it to the semifinals before falling to eventual champion Kim Clijsters.
Raymond, currently ranked No. 24, has won four WTA Tour career singles titles including 2002 and 2003 at Memphis, Birmingham in 2000, and Quebec City in 1996. Earlier this year she reached the semifinals at Tokyo and the quarterfinals at Amelia Island. She has won 39 doubles titles including three this year with partner Lindsay Davenport. Last year she made it to the semifinals of the Bank of the West Classic before falling to eventual champion Venus Williams.
Stevenson, currently ranked No. 28, reached her first career finals this year at Memphis and Linz. So far this year she has reached the semifinals at Scottsdale. In 1999 Stevenson became the first woman qualifier to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon, her highest Grand Slam appearance to date. This year will mark Stevenson’s third appearance at the Bank of the West Classic.
Granville, currently ranked No. 30, made her debut at both the Australian Open and the French Open this year where she reached the third round before falling to No. 8 seed Rubin. She was also a semifinalist at Memphis and a quarterfinalist at Auckland and Scottsdale. In 2002, she was a quarterfinalist at New Haven and Luxembourg and at Wimbledon she made her debut by winning three qualifying matches to reach the main draw, and then advanced to the fourth round. In 2000 and 2001 she was the NCAA singles champion here at Stanford University and was named the Tennis Magazine and ITA College Player of the Year. Last year at the Bank of the West Classic Granville entered the tournament as a wild card and was ranked No. 93.
Harkleroad, currently ranked No. 39, made her French Open debut this year, reaching the third round with a 3-hour and 8-minute second round upset over No. 9 seed Hantuchova 76(2) 46 97. She also reached her first Tier I semifinals as a wild card at Charleston and followed that with another semifinal appearance at Strasbourg. 2003 marks Harkleroad’s first appearance at the Bank of the West Classic.
Frazier, currently ranked No. 51, has won six WTA Tour career singles titles including 1999 and 1995 Japan Open, 1994 Los Angeles, 1992 European Open, 1990 Oklahoma City, and 1989 Wichita. So far this season, she was a finalist for the first time in two-and-a-half years at Hobart. Frazier has been competing in the WTA Bay Area tournament that is now the Bank of the West Classic since 1990. She reached the semifinals in 1999 and was a quarterfinalist in 1991 and 2000. This year at the Bank of the West Classic she will make her 15th Bay Area appearance.
Individual tickets range in price from $15-$75 per session and are available through City Box Office at 415-392-4400, or through Tickets.com at 415-478-2277, 650-478-2277, 408-998-2277, or 510-762-2277. Box seat and weekend packages range from $155-$2,600, including individual session skyboxes available for $2,000 per session Monday through Thursday, and are available by calling 415-227-8099. Qualifying matches, held July 19-20, are free to the public. For more information about the Bank of the West Classic, please visit the tournament Web site at www.bankofthewestclassic.com
Weekday sessions will begin Monday, July 21, through Wednesday, July 23 at 10 a.m. and Thursday, July 24, through Friday, July 25 at noon. All weeknight sessions begin at 7:30 p.m. Semifinal sessions on Saturday, July 26, start at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The final session on Sunday, July 27, begins at 1:30 p.m.
Now celebrating its 33rd 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.
For Bank of the West, 2003 marks its 12th year as title sponsor. With headquarters in San Francisco, Bank of the West has nearly 300 branches in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada and New Mexico. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West is the third largest commercial bank headquartered in California, with $26 billion in assets.
The WTA Tour is the world's premier professional sport for women with more than 1,000 players representing 76 nations competing for more than $52 million in prize money at the Tour's 60 events in 31 countries. More than 4 million people attended women's tennis events in 2002, with millions more watching events on television networks around the world. The WTA Tour's season concludes with the WTA Tour Championships presented by Porsche at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California, November 5-10, 2003. Further information on the Tour can be found on the Internet at www.wtatour.com
For more information about the Bank of the West Classic, please visit the tournament website at www.bankofthewestclassic.com