Serena Williams won't be playing in the Bank of the West Classic until Wednesday. When she does play, it could be against this year's NCAA singles and doubles champion Nicole Gibbs.
Gibbs will face qualifier Noppawan Lertcheewakarn in her first-round match, with that contest scheduled for Tuesday's day session that begins at 11 a.m. Williams could be next if Gibbs' wins. That would be scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Gibbs, who will be a junior st Stanford, and Cardinal senior Mallory Burdette each received wild cards into the main draw. Gibbs is coming off a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 victory over France's Julie Coin on Sunday to win the Colorado International, a $50,000 event on the ITF Pro Circuit.
Jelena Jankovic remembers the Bank of the West Classic fondly. As a 16-year-old making her debut on the WTA Tour, it was the second biggest tournament she had ever played at the time.
"I've also enjoyed playing here and I hope to do well," the 27-year-old Jankovic said following Saturday's draw ceremony, which was held at the Stanford Shopping Center. "The last time I played here was in 2009 and it feels good to be back."
Jankovic, a former world No. 1 player, is the tournament's fourth seed this year. Wimbledon champion Serena Williams is the top seed and returns to defend her $640,000 Bank of the West Classic title.
Former Bank of the West champion Marion Bartoli is seeded second, followed by Dominika Cibulkova. Yanina Wickmayer is seeded fifth, Chanelle Scheepers follows at No. 6, Petra Martic is seventh and Marina Erakovic is the eighth seed.
Currently ranked No. 6, Williams has now won 42 career titles. Williams, who defeated Marion Bartoli 7-5, 6-1 in last year's Bank of the West Classic singles final, is bidding to become the first player to win the Bank of the West Classic in consecutive seasons since Kim Clijsters accomplished the feat in 2005 and 2006.
Burdette is at the other end of the bracket, meeting Anne Keothavong in the first round during Tuesday's night session at 7 p.m. The winner meets Bartoli.
As a wild card in doubles, Burdette and Gibbs will face the tourney's No. 3 seeded-duo of Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova in the first round.
"The field is great because there are so many great players," Jankovic said. "Hopefully the crowd can enjoy good tennis all week."
Jankovic, No. 21 in the latest ranking, reached the finals at Birmingham the week before Wimbledon, where she lost in the first round to Kim Clijsters. Reaching No. 1 in August of 2008, Jankovic fell out of the top 10 for the first time in four years last season.
She reached the quarterfinal of the French Open and arrived in Palo Alto early to help get herself adapted to the time change.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 866-WTA-TIXS (866-982-8497) or by logging on to to the Classic website. Individual session tickets to the tournament's opening round start at $26.
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