STANFORD, Calif. - No. 1 seed Venus Williams advanced to the semifinals of the main draw in the 2016 Bank of the West Classic at Taube Family Tennis Stadium, defeating local favorite CiCi Bellis 6-4, 6-1.
Bellis, the 17-year-old native of nearby Atherton, California, won a break point in the first game of the match, but Williams responded with two breaks of her own en route to a 6-4 set win. Williams cruised to a 6-1 win in the second set, cementing her place in the semifinals.
Williams will play fellow American Alison Riske tomorrow at 7 p.m. Riske was the only non-seeded player to advance after No. 4 seed CoCo Vandeweghe retired in the second set. Riske won the first set 6-3 before Vandeweghe was forced off shortly into the second set.
Second-seeded Dominika Cibulkova overcame a big deficit in the first set to defeat Saisai Zheng in straight sets. Zheng won two break points en route to a 3-0 lead, eventually stretching to 5-2. Cibulkova won the final 11 games of the match, which finished 7-5, 6-0.
Cibulkova’s opponent in the semifinals will be No. 3 seed Johanna Konta, who advanced by defeating fifth-seeded Misaki Doi. Konta took the early advantage, winning the first set 6-2. Doi battled back to even the match with a 6-4 win in the second before Konta clinched the match with a 6-3 third set. Cibulkova and Konta will play at 2 p.m.
The Bank of the West Classic, a Premier WTA event, features a 28-player singles draw as well as a 16-team doubles draw. The event is owned and operated by IMG and serves as the opening women's event of the Emirates Airline US Open Series.
The list of past champions of the event reads like a Who's Who of women's tennis including Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters.
Tickets for the Bank of the West Classic are on sale now with individual session tickets starting at just $34.
The Bank of the West Classic also provides fans with multiple money-saving ticket packages that start as low as $192 for Night Session Packages, $265 for Weekend Packages and $620 for Full Week Packages. Groups of 15 or more can also receive discounts of up to 20%.
Log on to www.mubadalasvc.com for more information.
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 $846,000. 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 BANK OF THE WEST: Bank of the West is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $77.2 billion in assets as of March 31, 2016. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 600 offices in 23 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 185,000 employees.
ABOUT THE EMIRATES AIRLINE US OPEN SERIES: The world’s best players on the WTA and ATP World Tour are coming together for the Emirates Airline US Open Series, now in its 13th season. Linking seven summer WTA and ATP World Tour tournaments to the US Open, the Emirates Airline US Open Series serves as a true regular season of hard court tennis. In 2014, Serena Williams won the US Open and Emirates Airline US Open Series women’s title for the second consecutive year, earning a record tennis paycheck of $4 million. Rafael Nadal (2013), 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.