July 6, 2012
STANFORD, Calif.- The Stanford women's tennis program will be well-represented this weekend when the 2012 Bank of the West Classic gets underway at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
The qualifying round begins on Saturday, July 7, and main draw competition starts Monday, July 9.
Junior Kristie Ahn and sophomore Ellen Tsay have earned wildcard spots in the qualifying draw. Tsay will battle No. 5 seed Noppawan Lertcheewakarn of Thailand at 11 a.m. to open Saturday's action inside the stadium, followed immediately by Ahn's contest against No. 3 seed Erika Sema of Japan.
An All-American in singles and ITA National Rookie of the Year in 2010, Ahn competed in only three matches last year while missing almost the entire season due to injuries. However, she returned from a two-month layoff to participate in Stanford's NCAA quarterfinal match against USC on May 19, competing at No. 3 doubles and nearly pulling off a three-set win at No. 4 singles before her match was abandoned. Ahn has since continued to make progress in her recovery.
Tsay finished 24-8 overall and 17-4 in duals in her rookie year, playing mainly at the No. 4 spot of the lineup. She earned a final No. 74 national singles ranking and provided the clinching point in five matches.
Meanwhile, senior Mallory Burdette and junior Nicole Gibbs have been awarded wildcard berths in the main draw, which will be announced Saturday afternoon. Burdette and Gibbs are both three-time All-Americans.
Burdette is also a two-time NCAA doubles champion, teaming with Gibbs to win this year's title one season after bringing home the crown with Hilary Barte. The 2012 NCAA singles runner-up, Burdette has compiled a 104-22 overall singles record in three seasons and provided the clinching point in Stanford's 2010 NCAA championship victory against Florida.
Gibbs is coming off one of the best seasons in school history, becoming only the third player in NCAA history to capture both the NCAA singles and doubles titles in the same season. Stanford's first NCAA singles champion since Amber Liu in 2004, Gibbs was also named the 2012 Honda Sports Award recipient and ITA National Player of the Year. In just two seasons, Gibbs has produced an 87-11 overall record and 48-2 mark in dual match play.
The 2012 Bank of the West Classic will be held from July 9-15 at the Taube Family Tennis Center at Stanford University. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 866-WTA-TIXS (866-982-8497) or by logging on to www.BankoftheWestClassic.com. Individual session tickets to the tournament's opening round start at $26.
ABOUT THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC: The Bank of the West Classic is one of the oldest women-only professional tennis tournaments in the world and is the first stop of the Emirates Airline US Open Series. A WTA Premier event, the Bank of the West Classic features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw with total prize money of $740,000. 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 and Venus Williams. The Bank of the West Classic is owned and operated by IMG.
ABOUT BANK OF THE WEST: Founded in 1874, $62.4 billion-asset Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com), member FDIC and equal housing lender, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 700 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 with nearly 200,000 employees.
ABOUT IMG: 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, India and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academies; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing. More details available at www.imgworld.com.