Women in Sports featured at Bank of the West

Monday night special session includes soccer standouts and Olympians

A special Women in Sports event, featuring three nationally known soccer standouts plus a handful of Olympians, will be hosted by the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament on Monday at Stanford, starting at 6:30 p.m.

With the purchase of a Monday evening ticket, ticket holders will gain free admission to an autograph session with four-time FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Marta, Olympic and World Cup gold medalist Brandi Chastain as well as soccer forward and NCAA champion Christine Sinclair.

Marta and Sinclair both currently play for the FC Gold Pride of Women's Professional Soccer. Marta was a member of the Brazilian national teams that won the silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics and 2008 Summer Olympics. In the 2007 Women's World Cup, she won both the Golden Ball award as the best player and the Golden Boot award as the top scorer.

Chastain, who played for the FC Gold Pride last year, is best known for her game-winning penalty kick against China in the 1999 Women's World Cup, followed by the celebratory ripping off of her soccer jersey. To honor her retirement, Chastain will host a testimonial soccer match with teammates, celebrity friends and guest athletes on October 2, 2010, at the Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara.

In addition, past Olympians who will be at the on-court presentation include Stanford's own five-time NCAA swimming champion Julia Smit and two-time NCAA champion Elaine Breeden. Both earned silver medals as part of the 400m freestyle relay at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Other Olympians scheduled to appear include Mary Anne O'Connor, Barbara Higgins, Kim Carlisle, Marilyn King, Beverly Brockway and Anne Cribbs.

Earlier on Monday, an autograph session with Maria Sharapova will be held at 2:30 p.m.

The 2010 Bank of the West Classic features a 30-player singles draw and 16-team doubles draw. First-round action begins Monday at Stanford's Taube Family Tennis Stadium.

Tickets for the 2010 Bank of the West Classic 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.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports/Bank of the West Classic

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