Serena Williams leads Bank of the West Classic field at Stanford 

STANFORD — Four of the world’s top 10 women’s tennis players and two other former Grand Slam titlists are in the 28-player field that begins play today in the WTA Bank of the West Classic at the Taube Family Tennis Center.

Headlining the field is world No. 1 Serena Williams, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, two-time Bank of the West winner (2011, 2012) and three-time titlist this season. Williams’ first match is Wednesday night. Sister Venus Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, is in the field as a wild card.

World No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanska — the 2012 Wimbledon runner-up — No. 8 Angelique Kerber and No. 10 Victoria Azarenka – a two-time Grand Slam champ – are the other top-10 players in the field. Defending Bank of the West champ Dominika Cibulkova, former U.S. Open winner Sam Stosur and former French Open titlist Ana Ivanovic are other players to watch.

The tournament will also have a little local flavor. Three-time All-American Kristie Ahn, who won the decisive match for Stanford in a 4-3 victory over Texas A&M in the NCAA championship match last season, earned a wild-card entry and will play Coco Vandeweghe in a first-round match in the second singles match of today’s night session. All-American Cardinal sophomore-to-be Carol Zhao earned one of four qualifier spots by beating Marina Shamayko on Sunday 6-1, 1-6, 6-4. Zhao will play Yanina Wickmayer on Tuesday.

Sessions today through Thursday are at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. The quarterfinals are Friday, semifinals Saturday and final Sunday.

Bank of the West Classic

WHEN: Today-Sunday (sessions at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. today-Thursday, noon and 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday)

WHERE: Taube Family Tennis Center, Stanford

DEFENDING CHAMP: Dominika Cibulkova

TOP SEED: Serena Williams

FIELD: 28 players in singles

PURSE: $710,000 ($120,000 to winner)

TV: Tennis Channel (second round through semifinals), ESPN2 (quarterfinals through final)

INFO: www.bankofthewestclassic.com

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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