STANFORD, Calif. – Individual tickets are now on sale for the 2005 Bank of the West Classic, July 25-31, at Taube Family Tennis Stadium on the Stanford University campus. 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.
Defending Bank of the West champion Lindsay Davenport, along with 2000 and 2002 champion Venus Williams, 2001 champion Kim Clijsters, and 2005 Australian Open champion Serena Williams headline the list of early commitments.
“We are once again excited to be the first Sony Ericcson WTA event in the U.S. Open Series,” said Tournament Director Gus Sampras. “We are expecting a great week of tennis, and we’re pleased to have a strong commitment of top players participating in this year’s Bank of the West Classic.”
Individual tickets range in price from $12- $82 per session and are available by calling (866)-WTA-TIXS (866-982-8497), or through bankofthewestclassic.com. Weekend packages start at $195 and are available by calling (866) WTA TIXS. Week- long packages for all 13 sessions range from $475- $675 and are available by calling (866) WTA TIXS. Qualifying matches, held July 23-24, are free to the public.
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.
Clijsters, ranked No. 17, has won 23 career WTA Tour singles titles, including the 2001 and 2003 Bank of the West Classic. After a three- month absence earlier this year to recover from left wrist surgery, the 21-year-old Belgian captured titles at Indian Wells and Miami. She also holds 11 career WTA Tour doubles title.
Davenport, ranked No. 1, holds 45 career WTA Tour singles titles, including three Grand Slam titles (1998 U.S. Open, 1999 Wimbledon and 2000 Australian Open) and an Olympic gold medal. So far this year she has advanced to the finals of the Australian Open and captured titles in Dubai and Amelia Island. She is a member of the US Fed Cup team that defeated Belgium in the first round. The 28-year-old Southern California native also holds 35 career WTA Tour doubles titles. Davenport won the Bank of the West Classic in 1998, 1999, and 2004.
Serena Williams, ranked No. 4, will be making her Bank of the West Classic debut. She has won 26 career WTA Tour singles titles, including seven Grand Slam titles (1999 and 2002 U.S. Open, 2002 and 2003 Wimbledon, 2002 Roland Garros, and 2003 and 2005 Australian Open) and an Olympic gold medal. The 24-year-old also holds 10 career WTA Tour doubles titles, including six Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal, with her sister, Venus Williams.
Venus Williams, ranked No. 11, owns 31 career WTA Tour singles titles, including four Grand Slam titles (2000 and 2001 U.S. Open, 2000 and 2001 Wimbledon) and an Olympic gold medal. She is a member of the US Fed Cup team and won both her first round matches to help the US defeat Belgium. Last year she captured titles in Charleston and Warsaw. In addition to her success as a singles player, Williams has won nine career WTA Tour doubles titles, including six Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal, with her sister, Serena. Williams won the 2000 and 2002 Bank of the West Classic.
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.