Uploaded: Monday, July 9, 2012, 8:51 AM
Updated: Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 7:43 AM
Stanford tennis tournament's main draw continues today
First-round sessions again today in Bank of the West Classic
|Even before Serena Williams takes the court at Stanford's Taube Family Tennis Center this week, there will be a lot of interesting tennis being played at the Bank of the West Classic.
The tournament's main draw began yesterday and will continue today with first-round matches divided between the 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. sessions.
Stanford junior Nicole Gibbs, who won both the NCAA singles and doubles titles in the spring, was given a wild card into the main draw. Her doubles partner, Cardinal senior Mallory Burdette, was entered in the qualifying tournament along with Kristie Ahn, who is recovering from injury and missed most of Stanford's season.
Incoming Stanford freshman Krista Hardebeck was also in the qualifying draw. Hardebeck, who will turn 18 in September, has a WTA ranking of 361 and was in Denver last week playing in the $50,000 Colorado Classic. She took a 17-7 record this year into her July 4 match against Venezuela's Gabriela Paz, but dropped her opener, 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (10-8).
Gibbs also played in Denver and posted a 7-6 (7-4), 6-0 victory over Canada's Sarah Fichman, the tournament's No. 5 seed, in her first-round match. Gibbs won three matches, including a victory over former Bank of the West participant Alexandra Stevenson, during qualifying to reach the main draw.
Gibbs, who is expected to play doubles with Burdette at the Bank of the West, is playing with Florida's Lauren Embree in doubles competition in Denver.
Gibbs beat Burdette in three sets to win the national singles title. Embree reached the Round of 16 before falling to the No. 2 seed.
The main draw features first-round sessions at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. The second round gets underway Wednesday at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., with an exhibition match featuring Pete Sampras and Michael Chang, who is married to Stanford grad Amber Liu.
Thursday's second-round matches are also at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., with Sampras and Jim Courier playing an exhibition at 7 p.m.
Quarterfinals on July 13 are at noon and 7 p.m., with the evening session featuring Courier and Chang.
Semifinal matches on July 14 are Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., with the finals slated for 1 p.m. Sunday, July 15.
Williams, the Bank of the West defending champion, reached the finals at Wimbledon on Thursday with a 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) victory over No. 2 seed Victoria Azarenka. Williams will face No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in the championship match Saturday. Williams will be seeking her fifth Wimbledon title.
Other Bank of the West entrants winning last week at Wimbledon include Sabine Lisicki, Angelique Kerber and Tamira Paszek. Kerber advanced into the semifinals before falling to Radwanska on Thursday.
In addition, the Bank of the West Classic will be one of the final appearances for 16 players heading to the Olympics, including Kerber, Lisicki, Williams, fellow Americans Christina McHale and Varvara Lepchenko, world No. 16 Dominika Cibulkova from the Slovak Republic, former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic from Serbia, Russia's Nadia Petrova, Romanians Monica Niculescu, Simona Halep and Sorana Cirstea, Marina Erakovic from New Zealand, Croatia's Petra Martic, China's Peng Shuai, and Belgian Yanina Wickmayer.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 866-WTA-TIXS (866-982-8497) or by logging on to www.BankoftheWestClassic.com. Individual session tickets to the tournament's opening round start at $26.
The Bank of the West Classic, a premier WTA event, is now in its 42nd year and features a 28-player singles draw as well as a 16-team doubles draw. The event is owned and operated by IMG and serves as the opening women's event of the Emirates Airline US Open Series.
Bank of the West Classic Acceptance list as of June 25
Player Country Rank
Serena Williams (USA) 6
Angelique Kerber (Germany) 8
Marion Bartoli (France) 8
Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) 13
Sabine Lisicki (Germany) 15
Nadia Petrova (Russia) 20
Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) 21
Christina McHale (USA) 32
Monica Niculescu (Romania) 33
Peng Shuai (China) 34
Yanina Wickmayer (Belarus) 36
Tamira Paszek (Austria) 37
Simona Halep (Romania) 42
Chanelle Scheepers (S. Africa) 43
Petra Martic (Croatia) 45
Marina Erakovic (New Zealand) 49
Sorana Cirstea (Romania) 52
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 53
Urszula Radwanska (Poland) 54
Sloane Stephens (USA) 59
Vania King (USA) 61
Jarmila Gajdosova (Australia) 76
Eleni Daniilidou (Greece) 88
Nicole Gibbs (USA) 765
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