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Olympus U. S. Open Series: Week 1 Tournament Overviews

Monday, July 14, 2008

The 2008 Olympus US Open Series gets underway on Monday, July 14, with the men competing at the Indianapolis Tennis Championships presented by Lilly in Indianapolis and the women at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif.

It is just the beginning of six weeks of the Greatest Road Trip in Sports that concludes with the 2008 US Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

Here is a quick look at the first tournaments next week:

The Indianapolis Tennis Championships:

Dates: July 14-20

Location: Indianapolis Tennis Center, on campus of IUPUI.

Defending champion: Dmitry Tursunov (defeated Frank Dancevic, 6-4, 7-5, in the 2007 final)

Top-10 players: No. 8 James Blake (USA), No. 9 Andy Murray (GBR)

Other players to watch: Tursunov, the world No. 33 from Russia, is back to defend his title, and Dancevic also returns. But besides Blake and Murray, there are several other players in the draw ranked ahead of defending champion Tursunov, as Feliciano Lopez has a No. 22 ranking (just two shy of his career high No. 20), and Gilles Simon is listed at No. 26. Blake has played extremely well in the Olympus US Open Series in his career, reaching three finals in 2007 and winning the Pilot Pen title en route to finishing second to world No. 1 Roger Federer in the final points standings. Murray played very well recently at Wimbledon, winning a five-setter over Richard Gasquet in the fourth round, before falling to eventual champion Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals. Also lurking in the draw are many talented American players, including Robby Ginepri, Donald Young, John Isner, Sam Querrey, Bobby Reynolds and Wayne Odesnik.

Interesting fact: The Indianapolis Tennis Championships presented by Lilly has been named “Tournament of the Year” by the players on the ATP Tour a record 11 times.

Bank of the West Classic:

Dates: July 14-20

Location: Stanford University

Defending champion: Anna Chakvetadze (defeated Sania Mirza, 6-3, 6-2, in the 2007 final)

Top-10 players: No. 5 Serena Williams (USA), No. 6 Elena Dementieva (RUS), No. 8 Chakvetadze (RUS)

Other players to watch: There is no shortage of talent in the draw. The tournament has nine players ranked inside the top 20, as well as three-time Grand Slam champion and former world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport (also a former Bank of the West Classic champion). Vera Zvonareva, Marion Bartoli, Daniela Hantuchova, Patty Schnyder, Francesca Schiavone and Nadia Petrova are all part of the top 20, and Mirza, No. 33, also is returning. Serena Williams is coming off a great run to the 2008 Wimbledon final, where she lost to her sister Venus. Dementieva also had a great run in London, where she defeated Petrova in three sets in the quarterfinals en route to a semifinal finish. In doubles, the world's No. 1-ranked team, American Liezel Huber and Cara Black, are competing.

Interesting fact: The Bank of the West Classic is in its 38th year and is the oldest women's-only tennis tournament in the world.

Photos Getty Images

Week 2:

Posted by Shelia

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