Stanford's Barte, two freshmen receive wild cards


Stanford's Hilary Barte and two highly rated incoming Cardinal freshmen are among the final list of wild cards added to the 2010 Bank of the West Classic on Friday. The list is highlighted by 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, former World No. 1 Dinara Safina, and 18th-ranked Victoria Azarenka.

Barte, who will be entering her senior year at this fall, is already a six-time All-American having earned singles and doubles honors her first three years. This will be her second appearance in the Bank of the West as a wild card in the main draw.

The wild-card selections for the qualifying draw include two future Stanford players, Kristie Ahn and Nicole Gibbs. They have yet to take their first class at Stanford, but both will have the opportunity to play on the courts they will call home over the next four years. Ahn and Gibbs are both currently ranked in the top 500 in the world.

At just 22 years of age, Ivanovic already has won eight-career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour titles, including the 2008 French Open, and reached a career-high ranking of No. 1 in the world in 2008.

Safina, a former World No. 1 herself, has won 12-career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles titles and reached the final of three Grand Slam events including the 2008 and 2009 French Open as well as the 2009 Australian Open.

Both Ivanovic and Safina will be making their first appearances at the Bank of the West Classic.

Rounding out the list of main-draw wild cards will be Azarenka, currently ranked 18th in the world. She has won three-career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles titles including the 2009 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.

Finalizing the qualifying wild cards are Tamaryn Hendler and Coco Vandeweghe. Hendler, better known as Tammy Hendler, is 18 years of age and a former World Top 5 junior player. Hendler reached the quarterfinals in the 2008 US Open Girls' singles tournament and the semifinals at 2008 Junior Wimbledon.

Vandeweghe, who resides in Rancho Santa Fe, California, defeated Hendler on her way to winning the 2008 US Open Girls' Singles championship. Vandeweghe, currently ranked 200 in the world, is the niece of former NBA star Kiki Vandeweghe.

Tickets for the 2010 Bank of the West Classic, which will be held July 26-August 1 at Stanford University, can be purchased by calling the box office at 866-WTA-TIXS (866-982-8497) or by logging on to Single-session tickets for the tournament's opening round start at just $26.

The 2010 Bank of the West Classic will feature a 30-player singles draw and 16-team doubles draw. The official tournament draw, and first-round matchups, will be announced on Saturday, July 24.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports

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