Junior Wimbledon champion Claire Liu and two-time Wimbledon champion and former world number two Petra Kvitova have both been handed wildcards into the Bank of the West Classic, which takes place in Stanford next week.
Liu, who also reached the final at the junior French Open event this year, will be making her WTA main draw debut, whilst Kvitova will be continuing her return to the tour after missing the first few months of the season due to injuries sustained from a knife attack; the Czech was due to play this week in Bastad, but withdrew prior to the tournament.
The duo join an absolutely packed field, with wildcards previously being handed to two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka and five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova. Furthermore, Garbine Muguruza will be making her first appearance since her triumph at SW19 and will be the top seed for the tournament.
Junior and senior Wimbledon champion join impressive field
The tournament in Stanford, one of the most popular on the WTA Tour, always seems to build an impressive field, and Liu and Kvitova undoubtedly add to what was already a strong field at the tournament.
At only 17 years of age, world number 291 Liu will be making her WTA tournament debut after a highly impressive year to date. Aside from her run to the title in the Girl’s Singles at Wimbledon and to the final at the same event at the French Open, the American has won five ITF events this season and is the number one ranked junior. It will be extremely interesting to see how she fares on what could be a debut to remember.
Meanwhile, Kvitova is highly experienced, having won 20 WTA titles and winning Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, though will be making her debut appearance at the Bank of the West Classic. The Czech has only played three tournaments this year following the lengthy layoff she was forced to endure after being attacked, and will be looking to bounce back after an early loss at Wimbledon and being forced to withdraw from Bastad.