Mubadala Classic: Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka headline first round action in San Jose

The main draws of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, a WTA Premier event, will serve off on Monday, 30 July, with 23-time Grand Slam champion, Serena Williams and former world No.1, Victoria Azarenka headlining first round action in an exciting field that includes seven-time Grand Slam champion, Venus Williams, defending champion Madison Keys as well as two-time Grand Slam winner, Garbine Muguruza.

Serena Williams is on the back of an incredible (judging from her experiences from last year) run at Wimbledon, where he finished as runner-up. The American would now be looking to build on that impressive showing and reestablish her position at the peak of women’s tennis.

The 36-year-old, who’s seeded sixth has been drawn to face British No.1 Johanna Konta in a crunch first round clash on Tuesday. Both players have squared off just once in the past – 2017 Australian Open – with Williams claiming a straight sets victory. The American will certainly need another win against the Brit to stay course for a first title since her return to competitive action in March.

The older of the Williams sisters, Venus, who’s seeded third, received a first round bye and will play Heather Watson or wild card Claire Liu in the second round. Set in opposite halves of the draw, the Williams sisters will meet in the final provided they get past all their respective opponents, and you shouldn’t rule that out!

We could be in for a potential ‘battle of the Grand Slam champions’ early in the rounds, with Victoria Azarenka projected to play top seed Garbine Muguruza in the second round. However, Azarenka, who’s returning to the event for the first time since 2014, must beat Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko in the first round. Muguruza, meanwhile, will have ample rest time as she received a first round bye.

Defending champion and second seed, Madison Keys of USA also got a first round bye and will face either Alja Tomljanovic or a yet-to-be determined qualifier in the second round.

Belgium’s Elise Mertens, seeded fourth, got a first round bye and will have have to get past either Alison Riske or Ashley Kratzer – both Americans – for a place in the last eight.

Formerly known as the Bank of the West Classic, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic is being held for the first time at San José State University.

The event will take place Monday, 30 July through to Sunday, 5 July, and remains the first women’s event in the US Open Series, a five-week sequence of hard-court tournaments that lead up to the US Open.

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