SAN FRANCISCO, July 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of the West celebrates its 25th year as title sponsor of the Bank of the West Classic this summer when it returns to Palo AltoJuly 18-24, 2016. The longest-running women-only professional tennis tournament in the world, Bank of the West Classic is the first stop of the Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series and a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw. Held on Stanford University's campus since 1997, former champions include Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles and both Serena and Venus Williams.
Recently crowned Wimbledon doubles champion Venus Williams, ranked No. 7 in the world, opens this year as the Classic's top seed. Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, four-time Olympic Gold Medalist and a two-time Bank of the West Classic champion, returns to the event for the 13th time. And with the Olympic Games next month, the Classic possesses a strong international field with numerous players ranked among the top-2 in their respective countries and slated to contest the Olympics in Rio.
"We are excited to reach 25 years as title sponsor of this women-only tennis tournament," said Nandita Bakhshi, president and CEO of Bank of the West. "The Bank of the West Classic has always attracted the best players in the world and with the Olympic Games coming soon fans will have the opportunity to preview what they can expect to see in Rio."
Overall, 13 countries are represented in this year's Classic. In addition to Venus Williams, other notable contenders this year include:
For ongoing updates during the tournament, Bank of the West's YouTube channel will feature insightful videos featuring this year's players and match updates will be available on Twitter at @BOTWClassic and @BankoftheWest.
Tickets for this year's event can be purchased online at BankofTheWestClassic.com, by phone at 866-WTA-TIXS (866-982-8497), or at the Box Office located near the stadium during the week of the tournament.
About Bank of the West Bank of the West is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $77.2 billion in assets as of March 31, 2016. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 600 offices in 23 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 189,000 employees.