JPMorgan Chase Open: Aug. 7 - 13

July 6, 2006 10:48 AM

Sharapova, Petrova, Dementieva and the Williams Sisters Highlight Entries for the 'Ultimate Tennis Celebration' at the 2006 JPMorgan Chase Open August 7-13, at the Home Depot Center

Local Tennis Fans can ‘Scout’ Tournament Entries During Wimbledon Fortnight – Who’s Who of Wimbledon Participants Committed to Annual So. Cal Event

(CARSON, CA) – Maria Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon champion and former WTA Tour Championships winner, current No. 5 ranked Nadia Petrova, No. 8 ranked, Elena Dementieva and Venus and Serena Williams have committed to the 2006 JPMorgan Chase Open Presented by Herbalife, August 7-13, at The Home Depot Center on the campus of California State Dominguez Hills in Carson, it was announced today by Tournament Director Bill Peterson.

“The JPMorgan Chase Open will once again, showcase a strong field of entrants, for this summer’s annual tournament,” said Peterson. “We have received commitments from eight of the world’s top players, seven of who are currently competing at Wimbledon. Our fans can once again expect to see the best players in the world competing for not only this prestigious tournament’s championship, but important U.S. Open Series points as well. As part of our ‘Ultimate Tennis Celebration,’ our fans will also be treated to a week of exciting tennis promotions, offers and special events.”

All session ticket packages starting at just $115 are currently on sale for the 2006 JPMorgan Chase Open with group discounts of up to 50% offered. In addition, weekend ticket packages, which sold out last year, are also currently on sale. The weekend package includes a total of five sessions on Friday (two sessions), Saturday (two sessions) and the finals on Sunday. Plus tennis fans have the opportunity to save up to $75 off the regular price of individual tickets. For more information on all ticket packages, call 1-877-AEG-TICKETS (1-877-234-8425).

Sharapova is currently ranked No.4 by the Sony Ericcson WTA Tour. She has captured 11 singles titles including the Indian Wells Open in March as the number three seed and has a 27-6 record in singles matches this year. Sharapova was last ranked No.1 on August 22, 2005.

Venus Williams, is sporting a 10-4 overall record in singles play this year, ranked No.12 after finishing No.10 in2005. Williams owns five Grand Slam singles titles and is one of only 11 women to have won five or more major singles titles in the Open Era. She has 43 career WTA Titles including 33 in singles and 10 in doubles.

Serena Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, is coming back after a lengthy injury. The 2006 JPMorgan Chase Open will be just her second tournament since the Australian Open in January, having committed to beginning her comeback in Cincinnati on July 17th. The former No.1 ranked player on the women’s tour has 26 career singles titles, including the JPMorgan Chase Open in 1999 and 2000 and finished the 2005 Tour ranked No. 11.

Venus and Serena Williams were both raised in Compton, CA, just a few miles from The Home Depot Center in Carson. The sisters were recently chosen as America's favorite female sports stars, as recorded by a June, 2006 survey conducted by Harris Interactive. Also among the fan favorites was Maria Sharapova.

Petrova enters the week ranked No.5 overall on the WTA tour. She has won a career-best four WTA Tour singles titles this year, including the Qatar Telecom German Open in May. After the win, she climbed to a career-high No. 3 in Tour rankings.

Dementieva, a Russian, is currently ranked No. 8, having won the Tokyo Open in January of this year. She has a 23-10 record in singles matches to date and is a two-time Grand Slam finalist and five-time Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles titlist. She recorded her first number one seed this year for the 2006 Ordina Open.

This year’s field will take on a true international flavor as several additional countries will be represented with entries. Ai Sugiyama, ranked No. 21 on the WTA tour and Akiko Morigami ranked No. 60 join the field representing Japan, No. 24 ranked Shahar Peer is from Israel, No. 27 ranked Anabel Medina Garrigues and No. 91 Virginia Ruano Pascual are from Spain. Number 38 ranked Sania Mirza from India, and No. 46 Shuai Peng from China round out the initial entries.

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 third 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.