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Serena Williams highlights field for Bank of the West

 

The official player field for the Bank of the West Classic was announced this week, and with three top-10 players and eight of the Top 20 entered, the 2015 acceptance list for Stanford will feature one of the top player fields of the summer hardcourt season.

The longest-running women's-only tennis tournament will be held Aug. 3-9 at Stanford's Taube Family Tennis Center.

Highlighting this year's player field will be World No. 1, three-time Bank of the West Classic champion and 20-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams. The future Hall of Famer seemingly has gotten better with age by winning seven of her 20 Grand Slam singles titles since turning 30 -- including the past three majors heading into Wimbledon. She has been ranked No. 1 in the world for 128 consecutive weeks.

The Bank of the West Classic also will be welcoming world No. 9 Carla Suarez Navarro and world No. 10 Angelique Kerber.

Suarez Navarro, one half of the defending Bank of the West Classic doubles champions along with Garbińe Muguruza, has been one of the most consistent players on tour this year -- reaching the quarterfinals or better in 10 of the first 11 events this season. She reached the finals at Antwerp and Miami. Following her finals run at the Miami Open, which featured wins over Agnieszka Radwanska, Venus Williams and Andrea Petkovic, she became the first Spaniard in the WTA Top 10 since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in June 2001.

Kerber, a finalist at last year's Bank of the West Classic, already has captured three singles titles this season -- tying her with Serena Williams and Simona Halep for the most in 2015. All three of her titles -- Charleston, Stuttgart and Birmingham -- were at Premier level events. So far this season she is undefeated against top-10 opponents and has only two losses overall to players ranked among the top 20 in the world.

Other top-20 players entered include No. 11 Karolina Pliskova, No. 14 Andrea Petkovic, No. 17 Elina Svitolina, No. 18 Sabine Lisicki and No. 20 Garbińe Muguruza.

Lisicki, the hard-serving German, set a world record at last year's Bank of the West Classic with a first serve clocked at 131 mph. Earlier this month she broke the record for most service aces in a single match by recording 27 in her second-round victory at the Aegon Classic.

Fans attending this year's tournament also will get to see two of America's top young players. World No. 21 and 2015 Australian Open semifinalist Madison Keys will be making her second appearance at Stanford, while Atherton's CiCi Bellis has accepted a wild card into this year's main draw.

The home-schooled Bellis, 16, won the 2014 USTA Girls 18's National title at just 15 while becoming the youngest winner of the event since Lindsay Davenport in 1991. She has won three career ITF singles titles and already ranks 168th in World playing a limited schedule due to age restrictions.

At last year's US Open, Bellis defeated world No. 13 Dominika Cibulkova in the first round to become the youngest player to win a US Open match since Mary Joe Fernandez in 1986. At the end of 2014, Bellis was honored as the ITF Junior World Champion.

The Bank of the West Classic, a Premier WTA event, features a 28-player singles draw as well as a 16-team doubles draw. The event is owned and operated by IMG and serves as the opening women's event of the Emirates Airline US Open Series.

Tickets for this year's event can be purchased online at www.BankOfTheWestClassic.com or by phone at 866-WTA-TIXS (866-982-8497).

Log on to www.BankoftheWestClassic.com for more information.

2015 BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC ACCEPTANCE LIST

(As of June 24)

1, Serena Williams (USA)

2, Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain)

3, Angelique Kerber (Germany)

4, Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic)

5, Andrea Petkovic (Germany)

6, Elina Svitolina (Ukraine)

7, Sabine Lisicki (Germany)

8, Garbine Muguruza (Spain)

9, Madison Keys (USA)

10, Caroline Garcia (France)

11, Varvara Lepchenko (USA)

12, Daria Gavrilova (Russia)

13, Alison Riske (USA)

14, Mona Barthel (Germany)

15, Carina Witthoeft (Germany)

16, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (Croatia)

17, Ana Konjuh (Croatia)

18, Saisai Zheng (China)

19, Katerina Siniakova (Czech Republic)

20, Vitalia Diatchenko (Russia)

— Palo Alto Online Sports/WTA

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