Saturday, July 25, 2015

Serena to open Stanford title defense on Aug. 5

Serena Williams won her third Bank of the West Classic title
last year. Tri Nguyen/TriNguyenPhotography.com
   Serena Williams will open the defense of her Bank of the West singles title on Wednesday, Aug. 5, at 7 p.m. at Stanford, tournament officials announced this week.
   Also, former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki will make her Stanford debut on Thursday, Aug. 6, at 7 p.m.
   The stars' opponents will be determined in Friday's draw.
   The top-ranked Williams, a three-time Bank of the West champion, will try to complete a calendar-year Grand Slam in the U.S. Open, Aug. 31-Sept. 13 in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. No player has accomplished the feat since Steffi Graf more than a quarter century ago in 1988.
   Williams, who will turn 34 on Sept. 26, has won 21 career major singles titles to rank third on the all-time list behind Margaret Court (24) and Graf (22).
   Wozniacki, a 25-year-old Dane, has won 23 career WTA singles crowns. She is ranked fifth in the world.
   Also entered in the Bank of the West Classic are No. 7 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 10 Carla Suarez Navarro, giving the tournament four of the top 10.
   Other entrants include No. 12 Karolina Pliskova, No. 13 Angelique Kerber (last year's runner-up), No. 16 Andrea Petkovic, No. 17 Elina Svitolina, No. 18 Madison Keys, No. 22 Sabine Lisicki and 16-year-old wild card CiCi Bellis of nearby Atherton.
   Keys reached her first Grand Slam semifinal in January at the Australian Open and turned 20 years old the following month.
   Lisicki set the record for the fastest women's serve, 131 mph (210.8 kph), in a first-round loss to  Ana Ivanovic in last year's Bank of the West Classic.
   Wimbledon runner-up Garbine Muguruza, the 2014 doubles champion in the Bank of the West with Suarez Navarro, withdrew from next month's tournament with an abdominal strain.
   Bank of the West tickets start at $33 for individual seats and $205 for tournament packages. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to bankofthewestclassic.com or call 866-WTA-TIXS (866-982-8497).

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