Davenport, Sharapova, Clijsters, Serena Williams Highlight Early Entries For 2005 JPMorgan Chase Open

May 24, 2005 02:33 PM

Star-Studded Field Taking Shape For Premier WTA Tour Event To Be Held August 8 - 14 At The Home Depot Center

CARSON, CA (May 17, 2005) – Defending champion Lindsay Davenport, local favorite Serena Williams, 2004 Wimbledon and WTA Tour Championships winner Maria Sharapova, last year’s No. 1 ranked Kim Clijsters, current No. 5 ranked Elena Dementieva and current No. 7 ranked Svetlana Kuznetsova have committed to the 2005 JPMorgan Chase Open, August 8-14, at The Home Depot Center on the campus of California State Dominguez Hills in Carson, it was announced today by JPMorgan Chase Open Tournament Director Bill Peterson.

“Last year’s JPMorgan Chase Open was an overwhelming success as the largest tennis crowd in Southern California history witnessed great tennis action in a spectacular setting and tournament atmosphere,” said Peterson. “Our early entries for this year’s tournament represent the strongest field we have had to date and with our full slate of ticket packages and promotions, fans will need to buy their tickets early.”

Ticket information for the 2005 JPMorgan Chase Open is as follows: All session ticket packages and group tickets are now on sale for the JPMorgan Chase Open, one of the most successful and popular stops on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Ticket packages start at just $115, and groups can save up to 50 percent.

In addition, WEEKEND TICKET PACKAGES, WHICH SOLD OUT LAST YEAR, GO ON SALE TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY, AT 10 A.M. That package includes a total of five sessions on Friday, Saturday and the finals on Sunday. Plus tennis fans save up to $42.50 off the regular price of individual tickets. For more information on all ticket packages, call 1-877-AEG-TICKETS (1-877-234-8425).

Davenport, who was born in Palos Verdes and lives in Laguna Beach, is currently ranked No. 1. She has won twice so far this season and has 47 career WTA Tour singles titles, including last year’s JPMorgan Chase Open in front of record crowds at The Home Depot Center. In addition to her three Grand Slam titles and last year’s JPMorgan Chase Open title, Davenport has won the Los Angeles tournament three other years: 1996, 1998 and 2001.

Serena Williams, who was raised in Compton – just a few miles from The Home Depot Center in Carson – is currently ranked No. 4. Earlier this year she won the Australian Open – her seventh career Grand Slam win – and in 2003 she was only the fifth woman to hold all four Grand Slam singles titles at the same time. Formerly ranked No. 1, she has 26 career singles titles, including Los Angeles in 1999 and 2000.

Sharapova, who after capturing her 2004 Wimbledon title quickly became one of the most popular players on the Tour, finished off her magnificent 2004 season with a WTA Tour Championships victory and a check for one million dollars before a large crowd at STAPLES Center after surpassing a hobbled Serena Williams in third set of the Finals. Sharapova, who was born in Russia and now lives in the U.S., splitting her time between Florida and Los Angeles, finished that season as the Tour’s top money-grosser. So far in 2005, the No. 4-ranked Sharapova has two wins, the Pan Pacific Open and the Qatar Open, to bring her career victory total to nine.

Clijsters, from Belgium, has made a lot of history in Los Angeles. She captured the WTA Tour’s No. 1 ranking for the first time in her career on The Home Depot Center’s tennis stadium’s center court, which was one of a career-high nine singles titles for Clijsters in 2003. At STAPLES Center, for the year-end WTA Tour Championships, she won in 2003 and 2002, when she scored a huge win in the Finals over the world’s then No. 1-ranked player, Serena Williams. Clijsters has two wins in 2005 and 23 for her career.

Dementieva, a Russian, is currently ranked No. 5 (her career-high ranking is No. 4, which she reached on October 25, 2004). The right-handed hitting 23-year-old is still looking for her first career Grand Slam title to go along with her four career wins. She reached the semifinals of last year’s JPMorgan Chase Open, and is a two-time Olympic representative for Russia and a five-time member of that country’s Fed Cup Team.

Kuznetsova, who is also from Russia, is currently ranked No. 7, having peaked at No. 4 last October. Her career highlight to date is her 2004 win at the US Open, and she has reached the quarterfinals of two other Grand Slam events, including the 2005 Australian Open. She has five career singles Tour wins and 12 doubles titles, including two this year.

The JPMorgan Chase Open is also a part of the prestigious US Open Series, which links 10 summer hard-court tournaments to the famed US Open. This year’s JPMorgan Chase Open marks the second time players competing in the US Open Series tournaments will be vying for bonus prize money at the US Open. Players competing in the “summer season” of tennis at the participating WTA tournaments will receive US Open Series points which will ultimately earn the winner of the series the opportunity to double her US Open prize money.

In early May, event organizers for the JPMorgan Chase Open announced that qualifying for the event in Carson is scheduled to take place at the Seal Beach Tennis Center from August 6-7. Admission to watch that tennis action is free to the public.