|Serena Williams will not defend her title in the Bank of the West|
Classic at Stanford. Tri Nguyen/TriNguyenPhotography.com
Top-ranked Serena Williams withdrew from next week's Bank of the West Classic at Stanford with a right elbow injury, tournament officials announced Friday.
Williams will seek the first calendar-year Grand Slam in more than a quarter century in the upcoming U.S. Open, then turn 34 on Sept. 26. She won her third Bank of the West singles title last year.
The Bank of the West Classic, Monday through Aug. 9 at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium, still has three of the top 10 players in the world and eight of the top 20.
Heading the field are No. 5 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, No. 7 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and No. 10 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.
Also entered are No. 12 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, No. 13 Angelique Kerber of Germany, No. 16 Andrea Petkovic of Germany, No. 18 Madison Keys of the United States and No. 20 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.
The top four seeds receive first-round byes.
On Monday, 16-year-old sensation CiCi Bellis of nearby Atherton will play a qualifier during the day session, and Keys will face Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia in the featured 7 p.m. match.
At 15, Bellis stunned 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova in the first round of last year's U.S. Open and ended 2014 as the No. 1 junior in the world. Cibulkova reached the final of last year's Australian Open, losing to Li Na.
Tuesday's night session will begin with Kerber, last year's Bank of the West runner-up, taking on Daria Gavrilova of Russia at 7. Then 2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki of Germany will meet a qualifier. Lisicki set women's records with a 131-mph (210.8-kph) serve in last year's Bank of the West Classic and 27 aces in a June tournament in Birmingham, England.
On Wednesday night, Radwanska will play the winner of the match between Bellis and a qualifier. Radwanska was the runner-up to Williams at Wimbledon in 2012 and to Cibulkova at Stanford in 2013.
Wozniacki, who ascended to No. 1 in the world at 20 years old in 2010, is scheduled to make her tournament debut on Thursday night.
Winners in the first round of qualifying on Saturday included 44-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm and former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs, 22. Maria Sanchez, who was born and raised in Modesto, lost to Julia Boserup of Newport Beach 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Julia Boserup, United States, def. Maria Sanchez, United States, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Kateryna Bondarenko (3), Ukraine, def. Caroline Doyle, United States, 6-0, 6-0.
Petra Martic (6), Croatia, def. Jessica Pegula, United States, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (9).
Gabriela Dabrowski, Canada, def. Sachia Vickery (3), United States, 6-2, 6-4.
Kimiko Date-Krumm, Japan, def. Naomi Osaka (7), Japan, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-3.
Anna Tatishvili (4), United States, def. Yung-Jan Chan, Taiwan, 5-7, 6-4, 6-0.
Nicole Gibbs (5), United States, def. Taylor Davidson, United States, 6-0, 6-2.
Anna Tatishvili (4), United States, vs. Nicole Gibbs (5), United States.