Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sharapova, Radwanska head Stanford field

Maria Sharapova. 2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   Two of the top four women in the world are scheduled to play in next month's Bank of the West Classic at Stanford.
   Unfortunately, one of them is not Serena Williams, who has won the last two titles.
   No. 3 Maria Sharapova of Russia and No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland head the field, announced today, for the July 22-28 tournament. Both players will make their fourth appearance at Stanford after competing from 2009 through 2011.
    For Williams, the Bank of the West is a sentimental tournament. After missing 11 months because of health problems, she won her first title at Stanford in 2011 in the third tournament of her comeback. During her layoff, Williams underwent two foot operations and suffered life-threatening blood clots in her lungs.
   Sharapova , who lost to Williams in the French Open final on Saturday, has won each of the four Grand Slam tournaments once. In the Bank of the West Classic, she fell to Venus Williams in the 2009 quarterfinals, Victoria Azarenka in the 2010 final and Serena Williams in the 2011 quarterfinals.
Agnieszka Radwanska. 2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   Radwanska reached last year's Wimbledon final, losing to Serena Williams. In the Bank of the West, Radwanska fell to Daniela Hantuchova in the second round in 2009, Sharapova in the 2010 semifinals and Sabine Lisicki in the 2011 quarterfinals.
   This year's Bank of the West field also features Grand Slam singles champions Samantha Stosur of Australia and Francesca Schiavone of Italy and 2009 tournament champion Marion Bartoli of France.
   Stosur, the 2011 U.S. Open titlist, will make her sixth appearance in the Bank of the West Classic. She reached the semifinals in 2009 and 2010.
   Schiavone, the 2010 French Open winner who will turn 33 on June 23, has fallen to 45th in the rankings. She advanced to the Bank of the West semifinals 10 years ago and last played in the tournament five years ago.
Marion Bartoli. 2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   Bartoli, 28, will make her 11th consecutive appearance in the Bank of the West Classic. She has reached three finals, losing to Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada in 2008, beating Venus Williams in 2009 and falling to Serena Williams in 2011.
   Three Americans are entered this year. Varvara Lepchenko, a 27-year-old native of Uzbekistan, tops the list at No. 28 in the world. Jamie Hampton, 23, rose to a career-high No. 42 after reaching the fourth round of the recent French Open. Madison Keys, 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters), advanced to the third round of the Australian Open shortly before turning 18 on Feb. 17. She is ranked a career-high No. 53.
   American CoCo Vandeweghe, who reached the 2012 Bank of the West final as a qualifier, is not ranked high enough at No. 113 for direct entry this year but could receive a wild card.
   The Bank of the West Classic features a 28-player singles draw and 16-team doubles field. In its 43rd year, it is the longest-running women-only tournament in the world. In addition to Serena Williams, past champions include Lindsay Davenport, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger,  Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters.
   For ticket information, go to www.bankofthewestclassic.com. See below for the full acceptance list.
   Querrey milestone -- Sixth-seeded Sam Querrey recorded the 200th match win of his career, edging Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 7-6 (11), 5-7, 7-6 (5) in the second round of the Aegon Championships in London. Bedene was playing only the second grass-court match of his career.
   Querrey, a 25-year-old native of San Francisco and part-time member of the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis, won the 2010 title in London. He'll face either 10th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria or unseeded Lleyton Hewitt of Australia in the third round.
   Dimitrov, known as "Baby Fed" because his fluid strokes are similar to Roger Federer's, upset top-ranked Novak Djokovic on clay in the second round at Madrid last month. Dimitrov, 22, also is Sharapova's boyfriend. 
   Hewitt, 32, won the London title from 2000 through 2002 and in 2006.
BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC
Acceptance list
Name, Country, Rank
Sharapova, Maria, RUS, 3
Radwanska, Agnieszka, POL, 4
Stosur, Samantha, AUS, 14
Bartoli, Marion, FRA, 15
Cibulkova, Dominika, SVK, 18
Flipkens, Kristen, BEL, 20
Cirstea, Sorana, ROU, 24
Lisicki, Sabine, GER, 26
Lepchenko, Varvara, USA, 28
Paszek, Tamira, AUT, 29
Goerges, Julia, GER, 36
Radwanska, Urszaula, POL, 38
Hampton, Jamie, USA, 42
Wickmayer, Yanina, BEL, 43
Schiavone, Francesca, ITA, 45
Rybarikova, Magdalena, SVK, 47
Niculescu, Monica, ROU, 48
Morita, Ayumi, JAP, 49
Voegele, Stefani, SUI, 51
Madison, Keys, USA, 53

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