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Clijsters to Play in Mercury Insurance Open

Carlsbad, Calif. — Two-time defending US Open champion Kim Clijsters (KLEYE-sters) of Belgium has committed to play in the 2011 Mercury Insurance Open, which will take place July 30 through August 7, 2011 at the La Costa Resort and Spa, tournament officials announced today.

Since turning professional in 1997, Clijsters has won 40 career singles titles, including three US Open Championships. This year, she captured five singles titles and defended her US Open title in New York. The Belgian finished 2010 by defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark to win the WTA Championships in Doha and ended the year ranked No. 3 in the world.

“We are absolutely delighted to announce Kim’s early entry into next year’s tournament,” said Raquel Giscafre, Mercury Insurance Open tournament director. “She is one of the most popular players on the tour and has always been a great fan favorite at La Costa.”

Giscafre added that the tournament’s special Holiday Ticket Sale will take place through Jan. 15, 2011. Discounted tournament ticket packages, which begin at just $70, are on now on sale. Go to mercuryinsuranceopen.com or call (760) 930-7032 for ticket information. Individual tickets will go on sale on May 16, 2011.

“The discounted ticket packages make a great holiday gift,” said Giscafre. “We are anticipating a great event next summer and I encourage fans to take advantage of this special holiday ticket sale.”

In August 2003, Clijsters became the No. 1 ranked singles player in the world and finished the year as the No. 2 player in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings. Clijsters would equal her best year-end finish when she ended 2005 as the No. 2 ranked singles player in the world.

The 27-year-old Belgian has won 11 career WTA doubles titles including Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2003 when she became the No. 1 doubles player in the world. Clijsters is only one of five women to be ranked No. 1 in singles and doubles simultaneously.

In May 2007, Clijsters announced her retirement, but returned to women’s professional tennis in 2009 and staged an incredible comeback and shocked the tennis world in winning the US Open singles crown as an unranked wildcard.

Clijsters will be making her seventh career appearance at the La Costa Resort and Spa. She reached the singles final in Carlsbad in 2003, losing to fellow Belgian Justine Henin, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, and in 2006, falling to Russia’s Maria Sharapova, 7-5, 7-5.

In addition to reaching the singles quarterfinals in 2002 and 2005, Clijsters captured the doubles championship here in 2003 when she teamed with Ai Sugiyama of Japan to defeat Americans Lindsay Davenport and Lisa Raymond in the final, 6-4, 7-5.

The Mercury Insurance Open, a Premier 700 Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) event offering $721,000 in prize money, will feature a 56-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw in 2011. The women’s professional tennis event returned to the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad in 2010 after a two-year hiatus. Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova won the singles title this past summer when she defeated Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in the final.

The tournament is part of the US Open Series. For additional information about the Mercury Insurance Open, log onto mercuryinsuranceopen.com/, join us on Facebook(facebook.com/SDTennis), or follow frequent updates on Twitter (twitter.com/MercuryInsOpen).

About Mercury Insurance: Founded in 1962, Mercury Insurance (MCY) is a multiple-line insurance organization offering predominantly personal automobile and homeowners insurance through a network of independent agents and brokers in California, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona, New York, Georgia, Oklahoma, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, Virginia and Pennsylvania. For more information about Mercury Insurance, visit mercuryinsurance.com.

About Tri-City Medical Center: Founded in 1957 to serve the healthcare needs of coastal North San Diego County, Tri-City Medical Center is a full-service, acute care hospital with (500) physicians practicing in 60 specialties. The Medical Center is administered by the Tri-City Healthcare District, which includes most of Carlsbad, Oceanside and Vista. For more information about Tri-City Medical Center, please visit tricitymed.org.

About Octagon Tennis: Octagon has a rich and proud history in the sport of tennis, having managed the careers of 63 Grand Slam Champions and 11 Olympic gold medalists over three decades. In addition, Octagon owns or manages more professional tennis events than any other agency with WTA and ATP events including the Kremlin Cup, Brasil Open, the Movistar Open and the Western & Southern Financial Group Championships, which is also part of the Olympus US Open Series, among others. For more information, please visit octagontennis.com.

 

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