Monday, January 29, 2018

WTA tour knows the way to San Jose

Madison Keys sits on CoCo Vandeweghe's
lap after winning the Bank of the West
Classic at Stanford last August. Photo
by Mal Taam
   The San Francisco Bay Area received more good news today.
   Five days after it was announced that Roger Federer will make his first Northern California appearance in an exhibition on March 5 at the SAP Center in San Jose, IMG revealed that the longest-running tournament on the WTA tour has a new site and sponsor.
   The Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic is scheduled for July 30-Aug. 5 at the new Spartan Tennis Complex at San Jose State University, 20 miles (32 kilometers) southeast of its former home at Stanford University.
    The Spartan Tennis Complex has six lighted outside courts, and there are plans to build six more indoors. San Jose State will build a stadium court adjacent to the complex with temporary seating for 4,000 fans.
   Mubadala, Abu Dhabi's leading strategic investment company, also sponsors an invitational tournament in its home city in late December and the Rio Open on the ATP World Tour in Rio de Janeiro in February.
   Ironically, the Rio Open replaced the San Jose stop on the men's tour in 2014 after the tournament had been held in Northern California for 125 years.
   The WTA tour's Bay Area stop, founded in 1971, had been sponsored by Bank of the West since 1992 and held at Stanford since 1997. Past champions include Serena Williams, Billie Jean King,  Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Monica Seles, Andrea Jaeger, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters.
   Madison Keys defeated fellow American Coco Vandeweghe in last year's final. Afterward, with Vandweghe sitting in her chair awaiting the awards ceremony, Keys hopped on her close friend's lap and hugged her.

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