Headline Sports with Barbara Mason: 49ers-Chiefs expected to be a toss up; Osaka favored to win Australian Open; plus more

mercurynews.com photo: Terry Bradshaw, left, concludes the NFC Championship trophy presentation as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10), George Kittle (85), Raheem Mostert (31), Richard Sherman (25) an head coach Kyle Shanahan along with their family members celebrate their NFC Championship after defeating the Green Bay Packers 37-20 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020.

On Headline Sports with Barbara:

#1 The San Francisco 49ers dominated the Green Bay Packers in November and they did it again on Sunday with a 37-20 win

#2 The Kansas City Chiefs can be tough customers and with quarterback Pat Mahomes you can’t underestimate him on any given Sunday

#3 The Super Bowl draw millions and this one will be no different and this game is expected to be a toss up between the 49ers and Chiefs

#4 In the Australian Open on Sunday and won again on Tuesday, defending champion Naomi Osaka went 6-2, 6-4, to go onto defeat Marie Bouzkova on day one. Osaka faced Saisai Zheng in the second round.

#5 The Cal Bears and the Stanford Cardinal men’s teams tip off on Sunday at Haas Pavilion for Pac 12 basketball. The Bears are coming off two tough loses to USC and UCLA meanwhile the Cardinal lost to USC and beat UCLA

Barbara Mason hosts Headline Sports each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Zheng takes down Sabalenka in straight sets to win first title at Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — A Cinderella story had a fairy tale ending in the final of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic for Saisai Zheng. Playing in her first Premiere-level final, the Chinese native captured her first single’s title beating Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets 6-3 7-6 (7-3) on Sunday afternoon at the San Jose State Tennis Center.

Like she had been doing all week in the tournament to her opponents, Zheng forced Sabalenka to play her style of game and not let Sabalenka be able to use her power and get into a rhythm on the court. Her strategy in playing the no pace, high backhand volleys kept Sabalenka from utilizing her strong forehand volleys against her. Zheng cruised to a 6-3 opening set win.

In the second set, Zheng jumped out to a 2-0 lead and looked to be in control. However, a frustrated Sabalenka (at one point let out a primal scream during the fourth game after one of her many unforced errors) harnessed her emotions in winning the next three games for her only lead of the set.

While Sabalenka was losing her cool (throwing and back kicking her racket on separate occasions), Zheng kept calm throughout the match. She was able to thwart anything Sabalenka threw at her regaining the lead 4-3 the next two games. The set would go back and forth to the tie-breaker where Sabalenka’s unforced errors were too much for her to overcome. A double fault on match point sealed the deal for Zheng and she was able to celebrate her first championship in front of a small but enthusiastic crowd after an hour and 46 minutes.

“Obviously you don’t want to play fast fast fast with her,” said Zheng. “She is the best at that. The tactic for me was to put the ball deep, whenever I see some space let her run and if I can, change the slice or high ball. If I give her the same ball, she will hit a winner from any corner.”

The combination of the many unforced errors and eight double faults put Sabalenka in too deep of a hole she couldn’t climb out of.

“I couldn’t control my emotions,” said the 21 year old Belarusian. “I was screaming some (expletive). I was throwing the rackets.  I knew her game, but I wasn’t ready for that (style of play) much. That was my mistake.”

Zheng not only excelled at being able to counter drop shots and shots from up at the net from Sabalenka, but also had a high first-serve percentage finishing 21/29 for a 72% clip.

Zheng credits having a conversation she had with her best friend in China after coming back from Wimbledon where she hadn’t been winning on the tour. It allowed her to refocus her mind and keep things simple and not have high expectations going into tournaments.

“She said to me, ‘You know when you’re not so emotional, you can use your brain and play your best tennis.’ Then I realized I gave myself too much pressure and too much high expectation. This week, I just enjoyed myself, didn’t think too much and played each point. So I really want to thank her for that,” said Zheng.

Zheng, who takes home $151,070 with her win, also thanked her mother for always being there for her throughout her career and her puppy and is excited to see both as she heads to Toronto to play in the Coupe Rogers tournament.

In the doubles final, the Czech-American combo of Kveta Peschke and Nicole Melichar defeated the Japanese duo of Ena Shibahara Shuko Aoyama in straight sets 6-4 6-4.

For Pesche, this was her second consecutive doubles title at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic (she won it with Latisha Chan last year). Both her and Melichar were excited to win the tournament this time around.

“It’s an awesome feeling,” said Peschke. “I told Nicki (Melichar) about this tournament already last year. I told her I really loved it and she should come and play in it.”

For the duo, this is already an impressive fourth title together after only playing together over a year and a half ago.

“I am very thrilled,”  said Melichar. “I have the biggest smile on my face. Especially standing next to this lovely lady. To win (with her), it’s just awesome!”

The Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic drew a total of 15,454 fans in attendance for the entire week of matches this year.

Zheng and Sabalenka advanced in semis, will face off in Mubadala final

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — SaiSai Zheng had never played in a Premiere-level final, until now. Roughing out the 86 degree temperature at match time, Zheng was able to cruise her way into the final of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic over the seventh seeded Maria Sakkari in straight sets 7-6 6-2 in the first semi-final match of the day.

Zheng out battled Sakkari in a tightly contested first set that went to a tiebreaker. Zheng was able to win the tiebreaker 7-5 and seized control of the match from there on out.

“The last time I played Sakkari I remember she didn’t like the no pace, high back hand (volleys),” said Zheng. “This was one of the tactics I used today and it worked.”

Sakkari, who was looking to play in her second consecutive MSVC final, was frustrated throughout the second set whenever Zheng answered one of her volleys during a rally. In the final game, Sakkari double-faulted twice with the second one clinching the match for Zheng.

Sakkari mentioned she was a bit fatigued from her quarterfinal match just 24 hours earlier, but blamed a lackluster effort on her part as the main reason she lost the match to Zheng.

“I think I played really, really bad the whole match,” said the 23-year-old Athens native. “I think she (Zheng) has a tricky game which played a huge role in the match. I think my level (of play) was pretty poor today to win that match after coming from a win like that (in the quarterfinals) yesterday.”

This was only the second time the two have squared off against each other with Sakkari defeating Zheng three years earlier at Wimbledon.

“It’s been amazing to get into the final,” said Zheng. “I try to tell myself just enjoy who I am on the court and play my game. (It) turns out (to be) a good result.”

In the night cap, second seeded Aryna Sabalenka used her sheer power to dominate her semifinal against fifth seeded Donna Vekic taking her out in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.

The first set featured nobody being able to hold serve in the first seven games as each player took turns breaking the other’s serve. However, in the ninth game, Sabalenka took control of the match finally winning serve and winning the next two games to close out the first set.

“I was struggling today with my serve,” said Vekic, who was looking for her third top 10 victory of the season. “She (Sabalenka) played very well. It’s tough to play against a player like that without (having a good) first serve.”

In the second set, Sabalenka jumped out to a 3-0 lead with her strong serve that at times was too hot to handle for Vekic. Down 5-2, Vekic showed her mental toughness coming back from 0-40 to end up winning the game, but it was too little too late as Sabalenka finished her off in the next game to punch her way into the final for a showdown with Zheng.

“I tried to put more balls in than her,” said a jokingly Sabalenka regarding her strategy going into the match. “She (Vekic) doesn’t have a bad part of her game, so it was about fighting and show your best (game).”

Despite not making it to the final, Vekic seem to take it in stride, despite an overzealous fan shouting out a weird request to her.

“One guy in the crowd said he’ll kill himself if I don’t hold (serve), so I thought I really needed to hold,” said a laughing Vekic.

For Sabalenka, she is looking forward for her chance to win her second single’s title of the year on what has been an up and down season up to this point.

“I’m looking forward to the final,” said the 21-year Belarusian. “Hopefully I can show the same (level of play) as today. Saisai is a great player and it’s going to be a tough match.”

Sakkari takes down #1 seed, highlights Day 5 of Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic

Photo credit: @Tennis

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Déjà vu doesn’t happen often, but for Maria Sakkari she tends to make a habit of it when she performs in San Jose.  Down one set and one game away from being bounced in straight sets, the Greek freak made a remarkable comeback to defeat the number one seeded Elina Sviotlina 1-6 7-6 6-3 in quarterfinal action on Day 5 at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic on Thursday afternoon.

Last year at this same tournament Sakkari was in similar situation against Danielle Collins and fought her way back to win in the semi-finals. This time around she was down three games twice in the second (4-1 and 5-2) when she won four games in a row forcing Sviotlina to win the 12th game and the ensuing tiebreaker that Sakkari won 7-3 to prolong the match into the third set.

Sakkari cruised in the third winning it in 46 minutes to punch her ticket to the semi-finals where she will face Saisai Zheng.

“Maybe it’s something about this place,” said the 23-year-old Athens native about her comebacks in this tournament. “I really feel comfortable playing on the center court here. Really feels like home.”

Sakkari finished with seven aces on the day and 7/10 on first serve points won. She credits her serve as one of her main improvements from a year ago.

“My served has improved a lot,” said Sakkari. “I know today wasn’t one of my best hitting the ball, but my serve, my forehand is my weapon now when I was struggling (with them) I would say two years ago.”

In the first match of the day, number two seed Aryna Sabalenka rebounded from losing her first set of the match against number six seed Carla Suarez-Navarro to power her way into the semi-finals in a three-set victory 3-6 6-2 6-4. Despite serving up nine double faults, Sabalenka took control of the match in the second set and never looked back as she found her game to take down Suarez-Navarro.

The Croatian sensation that is Donna Vekic continued her winning ways in a straight sets victory over American Kristie Ahn in her quarterfinal matchup 7-5 6-0 that needed less than 90 minutes to complete. Vekic was down early in the first set 3-5 to Ahn who looked to be in control of the match. However, the native of Osijek, wouldn’t lose another game, going on a 10-game win streak to close out the match and into the semi-finals where she will take on Sabalenka.

“It’s easy to get carried away,” said Vekic when asked about being in a zone during the win streak. “I had to stay really focused and not take anything for granted. And really take one point at a time and not really think about the score.

Vekic finished with six aces, all in the second set, as her powerful serve was too much for Ahn to handle for most of the match. Vekic was also a perfect 9/9 in first service points won in the second set.

“I think I had quite a few aces today. It (my serve) was working really well for me. I had quite a lot of easy points as well and that’s always nice.”

In the night cap Zheng outlasted fourth seeded Amanda Anisimova in a three-set battle of the wills. Zheng won the opening set 7-5 when she would land some nice drop shots that Anisimova had little to no answers for.

Anisimova answered the call in the second set using a combination of forehand power shots with pin-point two-handed backhand shots to take the set 7-5 to even the match. However, she would pay a price for her effort as she had been suffering from an illness throughout the week. She was treated from her chair and then on the ground for 15 minutes before getting back up to start the final set.

“I have had a virus for the past couple of days and wasn’t feeling well today ,” said the 17-year old Anisimova. “I thought I needed a little help (to feel better)”. We both played very well. I think my opponent played super well. She got to almost every single ball, all the credit to her.”

With the score all evened at 4-4, Zheng was able to take control of the final two games as she took advantage of Anisimova’s ailment and won the set 6-4 and stamped her way to her first premiere level semi-final in her career. She will take on Sakkari in the first semi-final on Saturday.

“The whole match was very intense,” said Zheng. “I felt like I had to give a little bit more (than normal) until the end. It was really a tough match tonight.”

Vekic dominates former #1 Azarenka on Day 4 of Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic

Photo credit: @JJlovesTennis

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Donna Vekic has been enjoying her first time in the Silicon Valley. After taking a trip to up to the Facebook headquarters earlier in the day, she finished out her day in style with an upset second round victory over former number one women’s player Victoria Azarenka in straight sets 6-4 6-3 highlighting Day 4 of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic on Thursday evening at San Jose State University.

The fifth-seeded Vekic fought her way out of a 0-2 hole twice to win in commanding fashion with her dominant serve and powerful two-hand backhanded swing that put Azarenka on the ropes late in the match. Down 4-1 in the first set, Vekic went on a five-game win streak to take the first set.

Azarenka, ranked 38th in the world, was frustrated throughout the match thanks to seven double faults. She threw down and broke her racket at the end of the first set after an unforced error.

“I’ve never played her (before). Actually, this was our first match,” said the 23-year old from Croatia. “I knew she was a great player, great competitor. I knew I had to bring my best game if I wanted to have a chance to win.”

In the second set, Vekic finished off Azarenka by winning the last three games and finished the match with six aces and winning five of the eight break points to head into the quarterfinals.

Vekic credits her ability to move around the court quicker as her game has evolved since she turned professional seven years ago at the age of 16.

“I don’t think I moved at all when I was 16”, Vekic said with a laugh. “I have a lot more patience now. I’m not afraid to stay in the rallies. In fact I like to be in the rallies and to build up the point.”

In earlier action Amanda Amisinova defeated Madison Brengle in straight sets 6-2 6-2 in a battle of Americans. China’s Saisai Zheng took down American Danielle Collins also in staight sets 6-2 6-0 and American Kristie Ahn was a winner against Belgium’s Elise Mertens 6-3 6-3 rounding out single’s play.

En-Shuo Liang and Zheng teamed up to beat Ellen Perez and Heather Watson in three sets 7-6 6-0 10-8 in the only doubles action of the day.

2019 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic features San Jose State Spartan night

Photo credit: @MubadalaSVC

By: Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Wednesday wasn’t only day three of the 2019 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, but also San Jose State Spartan night. As a San Jose State alum, I couldn’t be more proud of my alma mater for hosting such an event for the former graduates since it has been a while since we’ve seen each other.

Wednesday’s order of play featured Japan’s Mayo Hibi and Greece’s Maria Sakkari at 11 am. It wasn’t that much of a surprise, but Sakkari defeated Hibi 4-6, 6-4 and 6-2. Sakkari is now the number seven seed. Hibi and Sakkari were followed by Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina and Russia’s Daria Kasatkina, who was a wild card. But it was Svitolina who downed Kasatkina 6-3 and 6-1. Svitolina is now the number one seed.

Somewhere in between, Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka celebrated her 30th birthday in the South Bay. Azarenka received a whopping four chocolate cakes, which were probably not finished by her, but also her son, family and friends who were in the area to watch the Belarusian tennis star.

The 2 pm match featured Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova and Australia’s Priscilla Hon versus Ukraine’s Lyudmyla Kichenok and Nadiia Kichekock. Yes, Lyudmyla and Nadiia are twin sisters who were born in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine on July 20, 1992. It was a nice sight to see twin sisters take on a multicultural duo.

The 3 pm match featured USA’s CoCo Vandeweghe and Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka. Despite the practice Vandeweghe put in prior to the match versus Sabalenka, but it was Sabalenka who picked up her opening win 6-3 and 6-3 over Vandeweghe. Sabalenka is now a number two seed.

The 4 pm match featured USA’s Kirstie Ahn and Madison Brengle versus Australia’s Monique Adamczak and Storm Sanders. The monocultural duos battled it out on the court, but they displayed sportsmanship in the end, despite the final result.

Fast forward to the 7 pm match when Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro faced off against USA’s Bethanie Mattek-Sanders. During the match, play was suspended for unknown reasons, but it resumed after about five minutes. Suarez Navarro won the match 3-6, 6-1 and 6-2 over Mattek-Sanders. Suarez Navarro is now the number six seed.

The final match of the evening featured New Zealand’s Erin Routliffe and USA’s Sabrina Santamaria versus Australia’s Ellen Perez and Great Britain’s Heather Watson.

Fans in attendance, including San Jose State alumni, went home happy knowing they watched the morning and/or evening matches and enjoyed fine dining as well as the company of their loved ones.

Thursday’s order of play can be seen below.

Start 11 am
S. Zheng (CHN) vs. [8] D. Collins (USA) [Q]
K. Ahn (USA) vs. [3] E. Mertens (BEL)

Not before 3 pm
#4 A. Anisimova (USA) vs. M. Brengle (USA)

Not before 7 pm
#5 D. Vekic (CRO) vs V. Azarenka (BLR)
Doubles TBC

Court 1 start
Doubles TBC

2019 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic can be described as a Super Tuesday

Photo credit: @MubadalaSVC

By: Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The 2019 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic at San Jose State University opened up with a bang, and things steadily improved Tuesday, which could’ve been described as a Super Tuesday. Yes, a Super Tuesday!

The Round of 32 began with a morning tennis match at 10 am. Croatia’s Donna Vekic took the first match with a 6-4, 3-6 and 6-4 victory over Japan’s Misaki Doi. Vekic is now ranked number five.

The afternoon match at 12 pm featured China’s Zheng Saisai, who downed UK’s Heather Watson by a final of 6-3 and 6-1. After that, another Chinese tennis player Shuai Zhang took the court, but lost to USA’s Danielle Rose Collins 4-6, 7-5 and 6-2. Collins is now ranked number eight.

More afternoon matches followed as Japan’s Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara faced off against Greece’s Maria Sakkari and Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic. As usual, Sakkari was a very fast Spartan (a member of one of the most feared military forces in the Greek world) and was technically unable to slow down unless if the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic’s social media team used video editing, which they did.

The Japan versus Greece and Australia match was followed by a match between France’s Harmony Tan and Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka, which ended in an Azarenka win 6-2 and 6-4.

The 3 pm match featured Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu and China’s Shuai Zhang, who took the court for a second time, against Taiwan’s En-Shuo Liang and China’s Saisai Zhang, who also took the court for a second time. The match was pretty darn awesome as all four players were talented in their own special ways.

Then, the sun slowly went down. Fans in attendance enjoyed al fresco dining as they waited to watch more tennis.

The night matches began at 7 pm. First, an all-American match between Venus Williams and Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Mattek-Sands stunned Williams 6-7(4), 6-3 and 6-1. Second, a multicultural match between USA’s Madison Brengle and Germany’s Andrea Petkovic. Brengle downed Petkovic 6-0 and 6-3 to wrap up the evening.

2019 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic opens with a bang

Photo credit: zimbio.com

By: Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The 2019 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic opened with a bang on Monday at San Jose State University. Two lucky winners who were iPhone owners turned their AirDrop to “EVERYONE” and won a pair of tickets to tonight’s session, which was a win-win given the fact that general admission was free today and folks came on down to check out practice, Court 1 action and enjoyed the new and improved site offerings.

The Round of 32 began at 10 am at the stadium.

Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro defeated Poland’s Magda Linette 6-3 and 6-3. Japan’s Mayo Hibi defeated Hungary’s Timea Babos 6-2, 3-6 and 7(7)-6(3). USA’s Kristie Ahn defeated Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 4-6 and 6-4.

The women’s tennis action continued at 1 pm on Court 1.

USA’s Bethanie Mattek-Sands and China’s Shuai Peng faced off against Japan’s Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya. It was a very exciting match that delighted the fans in attendance.

After that, Greece’s Maria Sakkai defeated Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-1 and 6-4.

The first day of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic ended with two matches at 7 pm on the stadium.

Last but not least, USA’s CoCo Vandeweghe defeated Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova 6-2 and 6-2 to close out the night on a high note.

Last but not least, Russia’s Daria Kasatkina defeated the reigning Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic single’s champion Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-2 and 6-2.

Tuesday’s order of play can be viewed below.

Photo credit: @MubadalaSVC

Muguruza forced to withdraw from Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic 2019

Photo credit: sportspromedia.com

By: Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza has been forced to withdraw from the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic due to a right leg injury.

“I am so disappointed to have to pull out of San Jose,” said Muguruza. “Unfortunately my leg is not ready to compete and I am doing everything I can to be back on court and healthy. I am sorry to have to miss San Jose and wish the tournament a great week.”

“It is certainly disappointing that Garbiñe has had to withdraw from the event, but unfortunately injuries are a part of sports and a player’s health is always the top priority,” said tournament director Vickie Gunnarsson. “Hopefully she will be able to recover quickly and get back on the court soon.”

The Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic is entering its second year at San José State University. The tournament is a weeklong WTA Premier event and highlights the best the region has to offer.

The tournament will showcase a complete entertainment experience including robust culinary options, an expanded food truck program, interactive fan exhibitions, premier hospitality options, daily autograph signings, and of course, incredible tennis action.

Fans visiting this year’s tournament will also see many improvements from last year, including shading on the west side of the stadium, shaded seating in the food court, and more seating overall around the site shaded with umbrellas. The tournament will also add artificial turf on the site to cover much of the exposed asphalt.

On the court, the 2019 player field is impressive including seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams, two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and French Open semifinalist Amanda Anisimova.

Other featured players coming to San José include defending champion Mihaela Buzarnescu, 2018 finalist Maria Sakkari, 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, World No. 7 and Wimbledon semifinalist Elina Svitolina, World No. 10 Aryna Sabalenka, Belgian star Elise Mertens, Australian Open semifinalist Danielle Collins, two-time finalist CoCo Vandeweghe and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

In addition to the impressive list of WTA players set to compete in San José, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic will be hosting four former ATP stars as part of the Invesco Series on Saturday, August 3 following the evening women’s semifinal match.

The Invesco Series is a legends tour event that features three one-set matches consisting of two semifinals and one final. The line-up for the San José event is one of the best of the legend’s season and includes 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick, 1989 French Open champion Michael Chang, 10-time ATP tour winner James Blake and 11-time tour singles champion Mark Philippoussis.

Now entering its 49th year, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic is a weeklong WTA Premier event bringing the worlds of tennis and technology together in a festival of sports and entertainment. Highlighting the best the region has to offer, the tournament showcases locally sourced cuisine, fine wine and cheese selections, interactive fan exhibitions, premier hospitality options, and of course, incredible tennis action.

Featuring a 28-player singles draw as well as a 16-team doubles draw the tournament boasts $876,183 in prize money and serves as the opening women’s event of the US Open Series.

With several different ticket options available, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic has something for everyone. To purchase tickets go to www.MubadalaSVC.com or call 1-866-982-8497.

ABOUT THE MUBADALA SILICON VALLEY CLASSIC
The Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic is the longest-running women-only professional tennis tournament in the world and is the first women’s stop of the US Open Series. Owned and operated by IMG, the WTA Premier event features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw with total prize money of $876,183.

ABOUT MUBADALA
Mubadala Investment Company actively manages a worldwide portfolio supporting the vision of a globally integrated and diversified economy, through sustainable returns to its shareholder, the Government of Abu Dhabi. In March 2018, Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC) joined the Group. Mubadala’s US $225 billion portfolio spans five continents with interests in aerospace, ICT, semiconductors, metals and mining, renewable energy, oil and gas, petrochemicals, utilities, healthcare, real estate, defense services, pharmaceuticals and medical technology, agribusiness and a global portfolio of financial holdings. Mubadala is a trusted partner, an engaged shareholder and a responsible global company that is committed to ethics and world-class standards. For more information about Mubadala, please visit: www.mubadala.com.

ABOUT THE US OPEN SERIES
Now in its 16th season, the world’s best players on the WTA and ATP Tour are coming together for the US Open Series. Linking seven summer WTA and ATP Tour tournaments to the US Open, the US Open Series serves as a true “regular season” of hard court tennis. Featuring a cohesive schedule, the Series centralizes the way tennis is viewed in North America, across multiple television and digital platforms. Fans will see today’s top champions go head-to-head with tomorrow’s emerging stars, as storylines develop throughout the summer season. Each tournament also engages its local community with a variety of outreach initiatives, including grass-roots youth tennis clinics and activities.

ABOUT IMG
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. IMG is part of the Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) network.

ABOUT SAN JOSÉ STATE UNIVERSITY
The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study — offered through its eight colleges. With more than 33,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce. The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

Venus Williams joins player field for the 2019 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

By: Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams has joined the player field for the 2019 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, July 29-August 4 at San José State University. This will be Williams’ 15th appearance at the event and her second consecutive at San José, having advanced to the quarterfinals last year.

Williams, a two-time singles champion at the event, will be the featured evening session match (Session 4) on Tuesday, July 30 at 7:00 pm.

Tickets for the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, which returns for its second year at San José State, start as low as $36 and are on sale now at www.MubadalaSVC.com.

“We are very excited to have Venus join our player field,” said Tournament Director Vickie Gunnasson. “She is a tennis icon and tremendous ambassador for the sport. Having her competing at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic is truly special and boosts our already great player field.”

A winner of 49 career WTA singles titles, Williams enhances an already star-studded line-up that includes fellow Grand Slam winners Garbiñe Muguruza, Victoria Azarenka, and Jelena Ostapenko.

Six of the women in this year’s player field have already won singles titles in 2019. Overall, the list of players have combined to win 115 career WTA singles titles.

Other featured players coming to San José include defending champion Mihaela Buzarnescu, 2018 finalist Maria Sakkari, 17-year-old French Open semifinalist Amanda Anisimova, World No. 7 and Wimbledon semifinalist Elina Svitolina, World No. 10 Aryna Sabalenka, Chinese No. 1 Qiang Wang, Belgian star Elise Mertens, and Australian Open semifinalist Danielle Collins.

In addition to the impressive list of WTA players set to compete in San José, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic will be hosting four former ATP stars as part of the Invesco Series on Saturday, August 3 following the evening women’s semifinal match.

The Invesco Series is a legends tour event that features three one-set matches consisting of two semifinals and one final. The line-up for the San José event is one of the best of the legends season and includes 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick, 1989 French Open champion Michael Chang, 10-time ATP tour winner James Blake and 11-time tour singles champion Mark Philippoussis.

Now entering its 49th year, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic is a weeklong WTA Premier event bringing the worlds of tennis and technology together in a festival of sports and entertainment. Highlighting the best the region has to offer, the tournament showcases locally sourced cuisine, fine wine and cheese selections, interactive fan exhibitions, premier hospitality options, and of course, incredible tennis action.

Featuring a 28-player singles draw as well as a 16-team doubles draw the tournament boasts $876,183 in prize money and serves as the opening women’s event of the US Open Series.

With several different ticket options available, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic has something for everyone. To purchase tickets go to www.MubadalaSVC.com or call 1-866-982-8497.

ABOUT THE MUBADALA SILICON VALLEY CLASSIC
The Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic is the longest-running women-only professional tennis tournament in the world and is the first women’s stop of the US Open Series. Owned and operated by IMG, the WTA Premier event features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw with total prize money of $876,183.

ABOUT MUBADALA
Mubadala Investment Company actively manages a worldwide portfolio supporting the vision of a globally integrated and diversified economy, through sustainable returns to its shareholder, the Government of Abu Dhabi. In March 2018, Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC) joined the Group. Mubadala’s US $225 billion portfolio spans five continents with interests in aerospace, ICT, semiconductors, metals and mining, renewable energy, oil and gas, petrochemicals, utilities, healthcare, real estate, defense services, pharmaceuticals and medical technology, agribusiness and a global portfolio of financial holdings. Mubadala is a trusted partner, an engaged shareholder and a responsible global company that is committed to ethics and world-class standards. For more information about Mubadala, please visit: www.mubadala.com.

ABOUT THE US OPEN SERIES
Now in its 16th season, the world’s best players on the WTA and ATP Tour are coming together for the US Open Series. Linking seven summer WTA and ATP Tour tournaments to the US Open, the US Open Series serves as a true “regular season” of hard court tennis. Featuring a cohesive schedule, the Series centralizes the way tennis is viewed in North America, across multiple television and digital platforms. Fans will see today’s top champions go head-to-head with tomorrow’s emerging stars, as storylines develop throughout the summer season. Each tournament also engages its local community with a variety of outreach initiatives, including grass-roots youth tennis clinics and activities.

ABOUT IMG
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. IMG is part of the Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) network.

ABOUT SAN JOSÉ STATE UNIVERSITY
The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study — offered through its eight colleges. With more than 33,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce. The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.