Azarenka seeded #1 at Bank of the West Classic.


The 2011 Bank of the West Classic draw was announced on Friday evening, with defending champion Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova both earning first-round byes and locking up the top two seeds, respectively. There are several notable matchups on both sides of the draw, which should make for another competitive tournament when main draw competition gets underway on Monday, July 25.

The first quarter of the draw features top-seeded Azarenka, who defeated Sharapova in last year’s title match despite making the final as a wildcard. After a first-round bye, Azarenka will face either Sofia Arvidsson or a qualifier. Wildcard Dominika Cibulkova, the tournament’s No. 8 seed, battles Kimiko Date-Krumm in another interesting contest. A potential clash between No. 3 seed Marion Bartoli and No. 7 Ana Ivanovic highlights the second quarter of the draw. Bartoli, the 2009 Bank of the West Classic champion, will take on the winner of Rebecca Marino and Coco Vandeweghe after a bye in the opening round. Ivanovic, the former World No. 1 and 2008 French Open champion, battles Ayumi Morita in her first round matchup. This portion of the draw will also feature a first round match between two qualifiers.

Samantha Stosur and Agnieszka Radwanska headline the third quarter of the draw. Stosur, seeded No. 4 overall and ranked No. 10, meets the winner of Simona Halep and Sabine Lisicki after a first-round bye. Radwanska, seeded No. 5 overall and ranked No. 14, opens her tourney run against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. Wildcard entrant Hilary Barte, who recently wrapped up her Stanford career as a four-time All-American in both singles and doubles, faces Kai-Chen Chang. Plenty of star power is on display in the lower portion of the draw, most notably with Sharapova and Serena Williams. Seeded No. 2 and ranked No. 5, Sharapova has been awarded a first-round bye and will take the court for her first match on Wednesday night. Williams battles Anastasia Rodionova in a first round match slated for Tuesday night. Meanwhile, No. 6 seed Julia Goerges hooks up against Maria Kirilenko in another must-see contest.


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