The Bank of the West Classic pits some of the world’s best women’s tennis players against one another this week at the Stanford Taube Family Tennis Stadium. The hard court tournament features the No.5 ranked player in the world Samantha Stosur and the No. 6 ranked Elena Dementieva. Former No.1’s Ana Ivanovic and Dinara Safina were also in the tournament but were defeated.
The tournament is in its 40th year and is the oldest women’s only tournament in the world. It is also the first stop in the Olympus US Open Series. In celebration of four years of women’s tennis, a special presentation is planned before the semifinals on July 31.
The event has wandered all around Northern California in its 40 years. Stanford has been its home for the last 14 years.
Former champions Billie Jean King, Andrea Jaeger, Lindsay Davenport and Marion Bartoli each represent a different decade of the tournaments past and will participate in the ceremonies on Saturday at prior to the 7:30pm semi-final match.
Bartoli won last year’s tournament against Venus Williams, and defeated 2008 Playboy model Ashley Harkleroad in the first round Tuesday to advance.
Noticeably absent from the tournament are the Williams sisters—both are battling injuries.
In the first round No. 35 Dinara Safina was upset by No. 61 Kimiko Date Krumm Monday night. The 39-year-old Krumm must be in Safina’s head—Krumm defeated former No.1 Safina in May.
Krumm was defeated by Elena Dementieva in three sets.
Semifinals begin Saturday. The final will be played on Sunday at noon. The purse for the winner is $107,000. Tickets range from $36-56.