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Bausch & Lomb Championships to Highlight Williams Sisters and Lindsay Davenport

February 18, 2005 01:51 PM

USTA Member Benefits Include Discounts and Hospitality

Tournament officials announced the commitment of the 2005 Australian Open winner, Serena Williams, along with her sister and the tournament’s 2002 champion, Venus Williams. 2005 marks the first time both Serena and Venus will play alongside one another in a Bausch & Lomb Championships singles main draw field. Scheduled to take place April 4 – 10, the 2005 Bausch & Lomb Championships returns for its 26th consecutive year to the oceanfront resort of Amelia Island Plantation in Amelia Island, Florida.

Serena and Venus will join Lindsay Davenport, the Bausch & Lomb Championships’ defending champion and the world’s No. 1 player, to headline the 2005 field. “With Lindsay, Venus and Serena, the Bausch & Lomb Championships has the top three Americans in the game,” stated tournament director, John Arrix. “These three superstars truly represent the power and athleticism of today’s brand of tennis and continues our tradition of bringing the best players to Florida’s First Coast.”

USTA Members will receive $4.25 off any day or night session, standard stadium seat ticket, Monday, April 4 and Tuesday April 5.  All USTA members are invited to stop by the USTA Hospitality Area in the Pavilion Tent on Tuesday, April 5 from 12:00 noon to 2:30 PM.  There will be an autograph signing with one of the world’s top players, free refreshments, gifts, and more!  Remember to renew your membership all week at the USTA booth at the tournament.  Special gifts and premiums will be available for new and renewing members.

Capturing her seventh career Grand Slam singles title this year at the 2005 Australian Open and holder of 26 singles titles, Serena Williams will make her third Bausch & Lomb Championships appearance. The former number one player in the world was a quarterfinalist at last year’s Bausch & Lomb Championships before losing to Nadia Petrova in straight sets. Her first Amelia Island appearance was in 2000.

Claiming 31 career singles titles, including four Grand Slam titles, Venus Williams will play in her fifth Bausch & Lomb Championships. She last played in 2002, where she captured the Bausch & Lomb Championships’ singles trophy by defeating Justine Henin-Hardenne in a three set final. Venus also played in 1999, 1997 and 1996.

The Bausch & Lomb Championships will be Serena and Venus’ second Tier II event of the 2005 season playing in the same draw having both committed to Dubai as well. Together, they played one Tier II event in 2004 (Los Angeles), one in 1999 (Sidney) and three in 1998 (Filderstat, Eastborn, Oklahoma City).

In 2004, Davenport finished the season ranked No. 1 in the world having also accomplished this feat in 2001 and 1998. It was her seventh Top 4 finish of the last eight years, having missed 2002 due to an injury. The three-time Grand Slam Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist returns as the tournament’s defending champion, having captured the 2004 Bausch & Lomb Championships crown by defeating Amelie Mauresmo in straight sets.  Davenport’s 2004 win was her second Bausch & Lomb Championships title having won both the singles and doubles trophies in 1997. Davenport owns 45 singles and 35 doubles career titles; only King, Evert and Navratilova have won at least that many in both singles and doubles.

In salute of Davenport’s many accomplishments, the tournament will give away a Lindsay Davenport Bobblehead Doll to the first 3,000 fans to attend the tournament’s Friday, April 8, night session. The night session gates open at 6:00 PM with two quarterfinal matches played on Stadium Court beginning at 7:00 PM.

For a 19th consecutive year, ESPN/espn2 will domestically televise the Bausch & Lomb Championships. The national broadcast times are as follows:

Friday, April 8       1- 2:30pm (EST)            espn2   Live       Quarterfinals
Saturday, April 9   12 – 2:00pm (EST)         espn2   Live       Semifinals
Sunday, April 10   1 – 3:00pm (EST)           espn2   Live       Finals

In addition, the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals will be produced for the World Feed with international distribution via the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s international television pool reaching 300 million households throughout the world.

The Bausch & Lomb Championships is a premier women’s professional tennis tournament, part of the worldwide Sony Ericsson WTA Tour consisting of more than 1,000 players representing 71 nations at the Tour’s 63 events in 33 countries. Each year the Bausch & Lomb Championships features the top players in the game and is one of the most anticipated stops on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour for both players and fans. Tickets for the 2005 Bausch & Lomb Championships are now available. For daily ticket, box seat and package information call 800-486-8366 or visit the tournament web site at blchamps.com.







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