Bay Area tennis fans hungry for a glimpse of some of the world’s top women’s hardcourt players have a rare opportunity to see many of their favorites in action early next month, as the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic (MSVC) returns to San José State in an important U.S. Open tuneup.
The historic women’s tennis event — which marks its 50th anniversary this year — takes place Aug. 2-8 at the SJSU Tennis Center. Tickets, which start as low as $20 for the opening round, can be purchased by visiting MubadalaSVC.com or by calling 1-833-94-MATCH (1-833-946-2824).
“We are excited to be returning to San Jose State University for the 50th Anniversary of this historic Bay Area tennis event and to do so at 100 percent capacity,” said Vickie Gunnarsson, Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Tournament Director. “This tournament holds a special place in history as a precursor to the establishment of the WTA and with the fight for gender equality in sports. Our former champions are some of the best players ever and given the talent we have competing this year I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or more of this year’s players joining the list of all-time greats when it’s all said and done.”
“San José State could not be more excited to again be hosting a professional tennis event of this caliber,” said Jeff Konya, SJSU athletic director. “We love showing Bay Area sports fans our exceptional tennis complex, which we feel offers a delightful fan experience, inviting hospitality options and the intimate atmosphere this tournament has become renowned for over the years.”
Highlighting the field are a collection of top-ranked American players, Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) title winners and recent Grand Slam champions. Topping the list of U.S. players will be 2020 Australian Open Champion Sofia Kenin, 2017 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Champion Madison Keys and 2017 U.S. Open Champion Sloane Stephens.
Other top players include 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, World No. 16 Elise Mertens, 2021 Australian Open semifinalist and 2021 Wimbledon quarterfinalist Karolina Muchova, 2021 French Open quarterfinalists Elena Rybakina and Paula Badosa and Chinese star Zhang Shuai.
Another recent addition to the MSVC main draw is 18-year-old British sensation Emma Raducanu, who accepted a wildcard invitation. In her first-ever Grand Slam tournament earlier this month, Raducanu advanced to Wimbledon’s fourth round, becoming the youngest British woman to reach the final 16 at Wimbledon in the Open Era.
The Mubadala event is slated to be one of the most competitive in the tournament’s storied history, with 17 of 19 players entered having won at least one WTA singles title and 15 having advanced to a Grand Slam quarterfinal or better. The field has combined to win 46 career singles titles.
Rich history and Bay Area roots
Legendary sportswoman, visionary and activist Billie Jean King and her friend Rosie Casals — a San Francisco native and, like King, a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame — played significant roles in establishing the event decades ago.
Sensing a growing passion and enthusiasm for women’s tennis, the pair joined forces and helped bring the Virginia Slims of California — the inaugural Bay Area women’s tennis tournament — to the San Francisco Civic Auditorium in 1971. It was the first event of that year’s historic tour, which paved the way for today’s WTA.
The tournament’s list of past champions reads like a who’s who of women’s tennis, including Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Venus Williams, and Kim Clijsters.
The Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic represents the first women’s stop on the US Open Series, which begins after Wimbledon and concludes with the US Open.
Owned and operated by IMG, the WTA 500 event features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw with total prize money of $565,530.