Kids from Bay Area Come to Bank of the West Classic for Inaugural Grand Slam Tennis Jam

July 14, 2004 09:01 PM

More than 800 kids will celebrate tennis and diversity through games, music and fun!

STANFORD, Calif. (July 7, 2004) – More than 800 kids will have the opportunity to celebrate tennis and diversity through games, music and fun courtesy of the Northern California USTA in conjunction with the Bank of the West Classic, on Thursday, July 15, from 10:30am-12:30pm, at the first annual Grand Slam Tennis Jam.

Various children’s groups from around the Bay Area, including the Girl Scouts of the Bay Area/Santa Clara County, East Palo Alto Tennis & Tutorial (EPATT) and the Youth Tennis Advantage will participate in this year’s event.

The event will include interactive tennis games, face painting, balloon creations, a special appearance by Penny the tennis ball, and will be highlighted by a WTA tennis player dropping by to say hello to the kids. Each youngster will also receive special gifts and a tournament poster. Three bands, including Night Shift (R&B), Rici Ric Alexander (Jazz/Hip-Hop/R&B fusion), and 12-year old Isaiah Boyd, will also be playing at the event.

At the conclusion of the Grand Slam Tennis Jam, the kids will have the opportunity to enter the Taube Family Tennis Stadium to watch world class tennis stars from the WTA battle for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Youth Tennis Advantage uses the game of tennis as a vehicle for teaching a variety of life lessons, providing a framework for understanding oneself, performing better in school and navigating the world. YTA’s mission is to inspire inner-city children to achieve their full potential through a quality program of tennis and academics.

The Bank of the West Classic, July 12-18, at Taube Family Tennis Stadium on the Stanford University campus, has an all-star line-up this year, led by former two-time champions, Venus Williams (2000, 2002) and Lindsay Davenport (1998 and 1999). It is a WTA Tour Tier II event, featuring a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw. Total prize money for the event is $585,000.

In addition to Williams and Davenport, previous winners include Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Martina Navratilova, Zina Garrison, Chris Evert, and Hana Mandlikova.

"We are happy to provide the kids with such a wonderful experience," said Gus Sampras, Bank of the West Classic tournament director. "The sport of tennis has a lot to offer young people these days, and we’re hoping to have inspired some of these kids; after all, some of them may go on to become the next generation of WTA and ATP stars."

Individual tickets range in price from $10-$80 per session and are available through City Box Office at 415-392-4400, or through at 415-478-2277, 650-478-2277, 408-998-2277, or 510-762-2277. Week long box seat and weekend packages range from $195- $675, and are available by calling 415-227-8099. Qualifying matches, held July 10-11, are free to the public.

Day Sessions will begin Monday, July 12, through Thursday, July 15 at 10 a.m. and Friday, July 16 through Saturday, July 17 at 11 a.m. Evening sessions will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 p.m. on Saturday. The final session on Sunday, July 18 begins at 1 p.m.

Now celebrating its 34th year, the Bank of the West Classic is the longest-running women-only professional tennis tournament in the world. The Taube Family Tennis Stadium has hosted the event since 1997. Before then, the tournament was held at the Oakland Coliseum Arena and the San Francisco Civic Auditorium. Last year, more than 45,000 fans embraced this summer classic.

For Bank of the West, 2004 marks its 13th year as title sponsor. With headquarters in San Francisco, Bank of the West has nearly 300 branches in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada and New Mexico. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West is the third largest commercial bank headquartered in California, with $26 billion in assets.

The WTA Tour is the world's premier professional sport for women with more than 1,100 players representing 76 nations competing for more than $58 million in prize money at the Tour's 59 events in 31 countries, as well as the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. More than four million people attended women's tennis events in 2003 with millions more watching events on television networks around the world. The WTA Tour season concludes with the WTA Tour Championships presented by Porsche at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California, November 10-15, 2004. Further information on the Tour can be found on the Internet at

For more information about the Bank of the West Classic, please visit the tournament website at