STANFORD, Calif. (www.mubadalasvc.com) – The 2014 Bank of the West Classic singles draw was announced Friday evening at Stanford Shopping Center, with Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska earning first-round byes and locking up the top two seeds, respectively.
The first quarter of the draw features current World No. 1 and 17-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, who is seeking her third Bank of the West Classic title after winning at Stanford in 2011 and 2012. Serena Williams owns 60 career WTA singles crowns, including three this year (Brisbane, Miami, Rome). Fifth-seeded Ana Ivanovic, a former French Open champion, is the top quarter’s other seeded player and faces Sabine Lisicki in one of the opening round’s most competitive matchups.
Fourth-seeded wildcard Victoria Azarenka, current World No. 10 and two-time Grand Slam champion, and eighth-seeded Andrea Petkovic highlight the second quarter of the draw. Also lurking in this portion of the bracket is wildcard Venus Williams, the seven-time Grand Slam champion who is making her 12th career appearance at the Bank of the West Classic and gunning for her third trophy. Williams, along with 2011 US Open champion Stosur, will be opposed by a qualifier in their first matches.
Headlining the third quarter of the draw is a potential clash between No. 3 seed Angelique Kerber, the current World No. 8, and No. 6 seed Dominika Cibulkova, the tournament’s defending champion. Cibulkova rallied for a three-set victory in last year’s title match, becoming the first tournament champion since Kim Clijsters (2003) to capture the hardware after losing the first set. An interesting early matchup is Coco Vandeweghe taking on wildcard Kristie Ahn, an All-American from Stanford who graduated in June and is starting her professional career.
No. 2 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, current World No. 5 and 2012 Wimbledon finalist, is the key player to watch in the lower portion of the draw. Radwanska is joined by fellow seeded player Carla Suarez-Navarro, who checks in at No. 7 and will be opposed by Monica Puig. Radwanska’s second round opponent will be the winner of Shuai Zhang and Caroline Garcia.
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ABOUT THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC: The Bank of the West Classic is the longest-running women-only professional tennis tournament in the world and is the first stop of the Emirates Airline US Open Series. Owned and operated by IMG, the WTA Premier event features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw with total prize money of $710,000. Held on Stanford University’s campus at Taube Family Tennis Stadium since 1997, former champions include: Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters.
ABOUT THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC: Founded in 1874, $68 billion-asset Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com), Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 600 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with 190,000 employees.
About the Emirates Airline US Open Series: Now in its 11th season, the Emirates Airline US Open Series continues to serve as a true regular season of hard court tennis, linking eight summer tournaments to the US Open. Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams won the 2013 US Open and Emirates Airline US Open Series men’s and women’s titles, each earning a record tennis paycheck of $3.6 million. Roger Federer (2007) and Kim Clijsters (2005) also accomplished the feat of winning the Emirates Airline US Open Series and US Open singles title within the same year.