STANFORD, Calif. – Patty Schnyder, Daniela Hantuchova and Ai Sugiyama have joined the list of players committed for the 2005 Bank of the West Classic, July 25-31, at Taube Family Tennis Stadium on the Stanford University campus. They join defending Bank of the West champion Lindsay Davenport, 2000 and 2002 champion Venus Williams, 2001 champion Kim Clijsters, and 2005 Australian Open champion Serena Williams on the list of early entries.
The Bank of the West Classic is a Sony Ericsson 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.
Schnyder, ranked No. 10, has nine career WTA tour singles titles, including a victory this year at Gold Coast. She also advanced to a career best quarterfinal round at this year’s Australian Open and to the finals in Rome. The 26-year-old from Switzerland also holds four career WTA tour doubles titles
Hantuchova, ranked No. 22, captured the singles title in 2002 at Indian Wells. The 21-year-old Slovakian holds four career WTA tour doubles titles, and captured mixed doubles titles at the Australian Open in 2002 and at Wimbledon in 2001. She was a member of the 2004 Slovak Olympic team, and competed on the Slovak Fed Cup team from 1999 to 2003.
Sugiyama, ranked No. 26, holds six career WTA tour singles titles. In 2004 she represented Japan in her third consecutive Olympics and reached the bronze medal doubles match before losing to the team from Argentina. The 29-year-old from Japan is an accomplished doubles player and has captured 30 career WTA tour doubles titles, including three Grand Slams. She was also a member of the Japanese Fed Cup team from 1995 to 2000, 2003 and 2004.
A limited number of box seats for the Bank of the West Classic are still available by calling (866)-WTA-TIXS (866-982-8497), or through bankofthewestclassic.com. Individual tickets range in price from $12- $82 per session, with weekend packages starting at $195. Week- long packages for all 13 sessions range in price from $475- $675. Qualifying matches, held July 23-24, are free to the public.
INDIVIDUAL TICKETS ON SALE FOR BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC
Day sessions Monday, July 25 through Thursday, July 28 begin at 11 a.m., Friday, July 29 at 12:00 p.m., and Saturday, July 30 at 1 p.m. Evening sessions begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The final session on Sunday, July 31 begins at 12 p.m.
Now celebrating its 35th year, 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 important West Coast Swing and US Open Series. Stanford University’s Taube Family Tennis Stadium has hosted the event since 1997. Last year, more than 45,000 fans embraced this summer classic.
For Bank of the West, 2005 marks its 14th year as title sponsor. With headquarters in San Francisco, Bank of the West has 480 branches in 16 Western and Midwestern states. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West is the fourth largest commercial bank headquartered in the Western United States, with $41 billion in assets.
The Sony Ericcson WTA Tour is the world's premier professional sport for women. In 2005, more than 1,000 players representing 71 nations will be competing for $57.8 million in prize money at the Tour's 63 events in 33 countries. More than four million people attended women's tennis events in 2004 with millions more watching events on television networks around the world. The WTA Tour season concludes with the Sony Ericcson WTA Tour Championships presented by Porsche at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California, November 9-14, 2005. Further information on the Tour can be found on the Internet at www.wtatour.com.