Friday, July 27, 2018

Serena draws Konta in San Jose tournament

Serena Williams, playing in the 2014 Bank of the West Classic at Stanford,
is coming off a runner-up finish at Wimbledon. Photo by Tri Nguyen/
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   In a matchup of former Bank of the West Classic champions, No. 6 seed Serena Williams will face Johanna Konta on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic at San Jose State.
   The draw for the inaugural tournament, which replaces the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, was held tonight. The main draw will begin Monday with sessions at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
   Williams played in the Bank of the West five times, capturing the title the last three (20112012 and 2014). Konta took the 2016 crown in her only appearance in the tournament.
   Williams won her only match against Konta 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Australian Open en route to the title. That was Williams' last tournament before going on maternity leave.
   Williams has played four tournaments since having her first child on Sept. 1. Ranked No. 27, she is coming off a runner-up finish at Wimbledon two weeks ago. Williams, 36, was bidding to tie Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.
   Konta, 27, of Great Britain has tumbled from a career-high No. 4 last July to No. 48. She lost in the second round at Wimbledon, also her last tournament.
   The winner of Tuesday night's match will play either Sofia Kenin, a 19-year-old American who won last week's $60,000 Berkeley Tennis Club Challenge, or a qualifier to be determined.
   The top four seeds in the Silicon Valley Classic -- in order, Garbine Muguruza, Madison Keys, Venus Williams and Elise Mertens -- received first-round byes.
   Muguruza reached the Bank of the West semifinals last year and quarterfinals in 2014 and won the doubles title in 2014 with fellow Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro. Venus Williams won the Bank of the West in 2000 and 2002, and Keys took last year's crown.
   Muguruza could play Victoria Azarenka, the 2010 Bank of the West champion, in the second round in a clash of former world No. 1s. Azarenka, 28, is ranked No. 110 after having her first child in December 2016 and playing a limited schedule because of a custody battle.
   The Williams sisters could meet in the Aug. 5 final.
   In the first round of qualifying on Saturday, 16-year-old U.S. phenom Amanda Anisimova, seeded eighth, is scheduled to launch her comeback against Priscilla Hon of Australia at 10 a.m. Anisimova has missed the last four months with a broken foot.
   Anisimova won her first professional title in the $60,000 Sacramento Challenger last July and reached the fourth round at Indian Wells in March, beating Petra Kvitova for her first victory over a top-10 player.
   Maria Sanchez, a 28-year-old Modesto product ranked No. 258, will take on top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka, a 20-year-old Belarusian ranked No. 35, at about 2 p.m. After that match, third-seeded Nicole Gibbs (Stanford, 2011-13) will play 5-foot-3 (1.61-meter), 120-pound (54-kilogram) Danielle Lao in a battle of Southern Californians. Gibbs lost to Kenin in the Berkeley final.
   Sixteen players are entered in qualifying. Those who win two matches will advance to the main draw.
   Here are the singles main draw, qualifying draw and Saturday's schedule. For more information, visit

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