Tournament officials announced today that Victoria Azarenka, (a-zuh-REN-Kuh) currently ranked No. 11 on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, has committed to play in the 2010 Mercury Insurance Open Presented by Tri-City Medical Center. The women's professional tennis event is scheduled for July 31-Aug. 8 at the La Costa Resort and Spa.
Azarenka reached the singles quarterfinals of the Australian Open earlier this year. The native of Minsk, Belarus, achieved her career high ranking of No. 6 in world in 2009, when she reached the singles quarterfinals at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Azarenka has won three career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles titles.
"Victoria is one of the bright young stars on the women's tour and we are very happy that she has chosen to enter our tournament," said Raquel Giscafre, Mercury Insurance Open Tournament Director. "She is an exciting player to watch not only in singles, but doubles as well."
A resident of Scottsdale, Ariz., Azarenka won the 2008 Mixed Doubles title at Roland Garros with American Bob Bryan and the 2007 US Open Mixed Open Doubles title with compatriot Max Mirnyi. She was also named 2005 Junior Girls World Champion by the International Tennis Federation after winning junior singles titles at the Australian Open and US Open as well as junior doubles championships at Roland Garros and Wimbledon that year.
Azarenka, who will celebrate her 21st birthday on July 31, will make her second career San Diego area tournament appearance. She teamed with Russia's Anna Chakvetadze in 2007 to reach the doubles final at the La Costa Resort and Spa where they fell to Cara Black and Liezel Huber. For more information on Azarenka, go to http://vikaazarenkatennis.com/.
In addition to Azarenka, the Mercury Insurance Open features a strong player field, which includes 2010 French Open finalist Samantha Stosur, Russians Dinara Safina, Nadia Petrova and Svetlana Kuznetsova, Serbians Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic and Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova.
Former two-time tournament champion Lindsay Davenport has accepted a wild card into the Mercury Insurance Open doubles competition, where she will partner with fellow American Liezel Huber.
The Mercury Insurance Open Presented by Tri-City Medical Center, a Premier 700 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event offering $700,000 in prize money, marks the return of women's professional tennis to Carlsbad after a two-year hiatus. The event will be televised on Tennis Channel and ESPN 2, and will comprise one of the 10 events of the Olympus US Open Series. For additional information about the Mercury Insurance Open, log onto http://www.mercuryinsuranceopen.com/; join us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SDTennis); or follow frequent updates on Twitter (http://twitter.com/MercuryInsOpen).
Mercury Insurance Group, title sponsor of the Mercury Insurance Open Presented by Tri-City Medical Center, is offering tennis fans the once-in-a-lifetime chance to win a trip to the 2010 US Open. Contestants can register to win a package that includes airfare, hotel and VIP tickets to the Open by visiting www.mercuryinsurance.com/tennis. No purchase is necessary to enter or win. You must be a legal California resident 18 years of age or older with a valid driver's license to participate in the sweepstakes.
About Mercury Insurance: Founded in 1962, Mercury Insurance (MCY) is a multiple-line insurance organization offering predominantly personal automobile and homeowners insurance through a network of independent agents and brokers in California, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona, New York, Georgia, Oklahoma, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, Virginia and Pennsylvania. For more information about Mercury Insurance, visit www.mercuryinsurance.com.
About Tri-City Medical Center: Founded in 1957 to serve the healthcare needs of coastal North San Diego County, Tri-City Medical Center is a full-service, acute care hospital with (500) physicians practicing in 60 specialties. The Medical Center is administered by the Tri-City Healthcare District, which includes most of Carlsbad, Oceanside and Vista. For more information about Tri-City Medical Center, please visit www.tricitymed.org.
About the USTA: Now in its seventh season, the Olympus U.S. Open Series has established itself as a true regular season of hard court tennis, linking 10 summer tournaments to the U.S. Open. Fans can follow the action with nearly 200 hours of live television coverage, culminating each week with back-to-back men's and women's finals every Sunday afternoon. Players battle for more than $37 million and a chance for bonus prize money at the U.S. Open. In 2008, Olympus became the first title sponsor of the Series. The Olympus U.S. Open Series is also supported by sponsors American Express, Evian and Grand Marnier.
Sam Querrey won the 2009 Olympus U.S. Open Series men's title and Elena Dementieva won the women's title. In 2007, Roger Federer collected the biggest paycheck in tennis history--$2.4 million--for winning the U.S. Open and the Olympus US Open Series. In 2005, Kim Clijsters captured both the U.S. Open and the Olympus U.S. Open Series, winning $2.2 million--the largest purse in women's sports history.
About Octagon Tennis: Octagon has a rich and proud history in the sport of tennis, having managed the careers of 63 Grand Slam Champions and 11 Olympic gold medalists over three decades. In addition, Octagon owns or manages more professional tennis events than any other agency with WTA and ATP events including the Kremlin Cup, Brasil Open, the Movistar Open and the Western & Southern Financial Group Championships, which is also part of the Olympus US Open Series, among others. For more information, please visit www.octagontennis.com.
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