Bank of the West has plans for its 40th anniversary

Special ceremony planned on July 31 to honor four decades of champions

The Bank of the West Classic is in its 40th year and has something special planned for its anniversary when it honors "Four Decades of Champions" prior to the 7:30 p.m. semifinal match on Saturday, July 31 at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium at Stanford University.

The event will feature appearances by some of the tournament's most prestigious winners, including Billie Jean King and Andrea Jaeger.

King won the tournament's inaugural singles title in 1971 and went on to win the event's singles championship three times and the doubles title four times. King was ranked No. 1 in the world for five years, won 12 Grand Slam singles titles, 16 Grand Slam women's doubles titles, and 11 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. King is often considered the founding mother of women's athletics.

Jaeger, who will be representing the decade of the '80s, won the Bank of the West Classic in 1981 and 1982. Jaeger, who achieved a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the world, reached the finals of Wimbledon in 1983 and the French Open in 1982. Jaeger's successful tennis career ended prematurely due to rotator cuff injuries in her right shoulder.

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.

Tickets for the 2010 Bank of the West Classic, which will take place July 26-August 1 at Stanford, 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 Bank of the West Classic is the longest running women-only professional tennis tournament in the world.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports

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