STANFORD, Calif. -- The official player field for the Bank of the West Classic has been announced, with two top-four players committed for the 2013 event.
Highlighting this year’s player field is four-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, world No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska, 2011 US Open winner Samantha Stosur, 2009 Bank of the West champion Marion Bartoli and Top-20 player Dominika Cibulkova.
Sharapova, fresh off a finals appearance at the French Open at Roland Garros, has competed three times at the Bank of the West Classic, reaching the quarterfinals or better each year. She reached the final of the event in 2010.
Radwanska will be making her fourth Bank of the West Classic appearance. She has 12 career singles titles to her credit, including two already this season.
Stosur will be making her sixth appearance at the Bank of the West Classic and has competed well in the tournament in years past, reaching the semifinals in 2009 and 2010. The Australian has won three career WTA singles titles and has posted a respectable 16-12 record thus far in 2013.
Bartoli, who has won seven career WTA singles titles, always seems to play her best at Stanford, reaching finals of the Bank of the West Classic in 2008, 2009 and 2011 and taking home the championship in 2009 with a victory over Venus Williams.
The 24-year-old Cibulkova has won two career singles titles and is currently ranked No. 18 in the world. She most recently won the Mercury Insurance Open in 2012 by defeating top-seeded Bartoli in straight sets. Cibulkova will be making her fifth appearance at the Bank of the West Classic, where she made a semifinal run in 2011.
Also entered in this year’s event is former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone. Schiavone, a seven-time singles champion on the WTA Tour, reached a career-high No. 4 world ranking following her runner-up finish at the 2011 French Open. The Italian star is making her first appearance at the Bank of the West Classic since 2008. She reached the semifinals in Stanford in 2003 before being defeated by eventual champion Kim Clijsters, 6-3, 6-2.
Up-and-coming Americans Madison Keys and Jamie Hampton are also scheduled to compete in this year's tournament, as is Ayumi Morita from Japan.
Individual session tickets for the tournament's opening round of action start at $30. If you are planning to stay for the entire day of matches, Daily Double packages start at $50.
The Bank of the West Classic is also offering several weekend packages starting at $255.
Full-week packages start at $595 and include tickets to all 13 sessions, a pass to the exclusive Plaza Club and an invitation to the Meet the Players Party. Those who purchase a pair of seats will also receive a weeklong VIP parking pass.
The Bank of the West Classic, a Premier WTA event, features a 28-player singles draw, as well as a 16-team doubles draw. The event is owned and operated by IMG and serves as the opening women's event of the Emirates Airline US Open Series.
The list of past champions of the event reads like a Who's Who of women's tennis and includes Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters.
The Bank of the West Classic offers several different seat options with prices to fit everyone's budget, so reserve your seats today. Qualifying will be held July 20-21 and is free to the public.
ABOUT THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC: The Bank of the West Classic is the longest-running women's-only professional tennis tournament in the world and is the first stop of the Emirates Airline US Open Series. Owned and operated by IMG, the WTA Premier event features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw, with total prize money of $795,000. Held on Stanford University’s campus at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium since 1997, former champions include Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters.
ABOUT BANK OF THE WEST:
Founded in 1874, $62 billion-asset Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com
), Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender, offers a full range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 600 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries and nearly 200,000 employees.
IMG Worldwide is a global sports, entertainment and media business, with nearly 3,000 employees operating in 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging: IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in China, Brazil and India; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academies; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing. More information is available at www.imgworld.com