Melanie Oudin, America's tennis sweetheart, will play in the 2010 Mercury Insurance Open Presented by Tri-City Medical Center, tournament officials announced today. The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event is scheduled for July 31 - Aug. 8 at the La Costa Resort and Spa.
The 18-year-old Oudin, who was born and raised in Marietta, Ga., burst upon the tennis scene last summer when she defeated 29th seeded Sybille Bammer of Austria, 6th seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, and 11th seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, on her way to a fourth-round finish at Wimbledon.
At the 2009 U.S. Open, Oudin captured the hearts of tennis fans as she made a spirited run to the quarterfinals defeating Russians Elena Dementieva (No. 4 seed), Maria Sharapova (No. 29 seed), and Nadia Petrova (No. 13 seed), along the way.
After seeing her ranking jump from 177 in the world in 2008 to 49 in the world last year, the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour recognized Oudin as the 2009 Tour Newcomer of the Year. The young American also helped lead the United States Fed Cup team to the World Group Fed Cup Final in 2009 and 2010.
Earlier this year in February, Oudin reached the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour indoor event in Paris and in April, she attained her career high singles ranking of 31 in the world. Oudin is currently ranked 44 in the world (as of July 26, 2010).
"We are delighted to have a young up-and-coming American like Melanie Oudin in our tournament," said Raquel Giscafre, Mercury Insurance Open tournament director. "She is a very exciting player to watch and she brings so much energy to the court. This will be the first opportunity fans will have to see her play at La Costa."
In addition to Oudin, the Mercury Insurance Open player field includes Jankovic, ranked No. 2 in the world, 2010 French Open finalist Samantha Stosur, 2010 Wimbledon finalist Vera Zvonareva and her fellow Russians Dinara Safina, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Petrova. Other players entered include Serbian Ana Ivanovic, Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.
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.
"This year's Mercury Insurance Open features an incredibly strong field," said Giscafre. "I encourage fans to get their tickets early because we certainly don't want anyone to miss out."
Reserved Grandstand and Box Seat tickets, which range from $10-$125, are now available online at mercuryinsuranceopen.com or through Ticketmaster at ticketmaster.com. Tournament Ticket Packages are also on sale and begin at $70. For additional ticket information or to purchase tickets by phone, call (760) 930-7032.
The Triumph Over Breast Cancer Benefit Auction, Thursday, Aug 5, 5-7 p.m. is one of the many exciting events happening in addition to the tennis - all proceeds will fund state-of-the-art biopsy equipment at Tri-City Medical Center's Edgar and Jo Anne Jones Women's Diagnostic Center. The benefit includes a cocktail reception, live and silent auctions and reserved seats for the night session matches. Tickets are $125 each. Call (760) 930-3072 to purchase your tickets or for more information.
The Mercury Insurance Open, 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. Open Series, among others. For more information, please visit www.octagontennis.com.
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SOURCE: Mercury Insurance
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