Mercury Insurance Open Preview

July 12, 2012 10:16 AM
"I'm extremely excited to play the Mercury Insurance Open again," says Marion Bartoli, who's been ranked as high as No. 7 in the world. "The fans are always great and I look forward to another exciting tournament."
By J. Fred Sidhu, special to
The Mercury Insurance Open presented by Tri-City Medical Center title is up for grabs at the beautiful La Costa Resort and Spa, which completed a $50-million renovation last year. Celebrating its 27th year, the Premier WTA tournament is the second women’s event to be played in this summer’s Emirates Airline US Open Series. Among the headliners of the 28-player draw will be Marion Bartoli, the 2007 Wimbledon finalist, and former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, who is having a home built in nearby Rancho Santa Fe. This year’s field also includes Roland Garros quarterfinalists Dominika Cibulkova, and Angelique Kerber and tour veteran Nadia Petrova, a two-time quarterfinalist in Carlsbad. Also participating are rising U.S. stars Christina McHale and Slone Stephens, and Americans Vania King and Varvara Lepchenko, who had a strong run at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon, reaching the fourth round of each.
Looking Back:
After moving from San Diego to Carlsbad in 1991, the event treated fans to one of the most dramatic singles finals in tournament history, with 15-year-old Jennifer Capriati scoring a thrilling 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (2) victory over 17-year-old Monica Seles.
One to Watch:
Sloane Stephens, who advanced to her first quarterfinal in a WTA event as a wild card last year in Carlsbad, defeating Germany’s Julia Goerges in the second round. The 19-year-old American reached the fourth round at Roland Garros earlier this year.
Did You Know?
Berry Gordy, Jr., founder of Motown Records, is a dedicated tennis fan. Gordy, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is the only person to purchase box-seat tickets every year since the tournament began in a public park in 1984.