By Ashley Marshall
The first women’s stop on the road to the US Open will stay in the Bay Area following the announcement that the longest-running women's-only tournament will move to San Jose beginning in 2018.
The Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic will take place at San Jose State University, replacing the Bank of the West Classic, which had been held at Stanford University for more than two decades.
A change in university policy last winter regarding hosting corporate-sponsored events on campus led to the tournament relocating 20 miles southeast down San Francisco Bay.
The 2018 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic will take place July 30-Aug. 5 and remains the first women’s event in the US Open Series, a five-week sequence of hard-court tournaments that lead up to the US Open.
It will be played at the newly opened Spartan Tennis Complex, which currently includes a 15-acre complex featuring six fully illuminated outside courts, with plans for a further six indoor courts.
As part of the agreement, San Jose State University will build a custom stadium court adjacent to the Spartan Tennis Complex with temporary seating for 4,000 fans. The overall facility will include a state-of-the-art locker room, players’ lounge and administrative offices.
Bank of the West held the title sponsorship of the event since 1992, and Stanford University had played host to the event since 1997.
“Once we were notified that we would have to move the event to another location, our top priority was finding a way to keep the tournament in the Bay Area,” said Tournament Director Vickie Gunnarsson. “When we met with San Jose State University, we could tell right away that they would be a great partner willing to invest in and help us grow the tournament.”
Owned and operated by IMG, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic will feature a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw with total prize money of almost $800,000.
Added San Jose State University’s Director of Athletics Marie Tuite: “Northern California is known for its outstanding tennis at all levels and its support of professional tennis tournaments. It will be a privilege to host a world-class event like the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic.”
The tournament was first held in January 1971 and has been held every year except 1978. The Spartan Tennis Complex will be the fifth venue at which the 46-year-old tournament has been held, joining San Francisco Civic Auditorium (1971-77), Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena (1978-95), Henry J Kaiser Arena (1996) and Taube Tennis Center (1997-2017).
In 2017, Madison Keys won the singles title, and Coco Vandeweghe and Abigail Spears claimed the doubles trophy.