Four of the top five women players in the world, Svetlana Kuznetsova (No. 2), Jelena Jankovic (No. 3), Ana Ivanovic (No. 4) and Maria Sharapova (No.5), headline a strong group of early entries into the Pacific Life Open, to be held March 10-23, 2008 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, it was announced today by tournament director Steve Simon.
In addition, Daniela Hantuchova (No. 9), Marion Bartoli (No. 10), Nicole Vaidisova (No. 12) and Amelie Mauresmo (No. 18) also joined the field, which already includes three-time Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport.
Kuznetsova, who was a finalist last year at the Pacific Life Open, had a fantastic year in 2007 winning her ninth career singles title at New Haven, reaching the finals of the US Open and finishing with a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the world. Jankovic and Ivanovic, both from Serbia, burst onto the scene last year and had incredible results. Jankovic won four titles at Auckland, Charleston, Rome and Birmingham while Ivanovic won three tournaments at Berlin, Los Angeles and Luxembourg and reached the finals of the French Open. Both also reached career-high rankings of No. 3 and No. 4 respectively.
Sharapova, a two-time Grand Slam champion and former World No. 1 is the 2006 Pacific Life Open champion. In 2007 the Russian added her 16th career title at San Diego, and reached the finals of the Australian Open and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Championships. The current defending Pacific Life Open champion, Hantuchova, added a second trophy from Indian Wells to her collection this past March. She won the tournament for the first time in 2002, and her win this year propelled her to another title at Linz and a top-ten ranking. Another top-ten star joining the tournament, Marion Bartoli, pulled off one of the major upsets of 2007 when she defeated World No. 1 Justine Henin to reach the finals of Wimbledon.
In addition, Vaidisova, who last year reached the semifinals of the Australian Open and quarterfinals of the French Open and Wimbledon, and Mauresmo, a two-time Grand Slam champion and former World No. 1, also have entered a women’s field that has become exceptionally talented.
"We are delighted that all of these marquee players have already committed to the 2008 Pacific Life Open," said Simon. "With six of the top ten players, including three former World No. 1 ranked players already entered is a sure sign that we are going to have a very exciting line-up of the best in world class tennis for our fans.”
For information about the tournament or tickets, visit www.PacificLifeOpen.com, call the Indian Wells Tennis Garden at 800-999-1585, or visit the box office, 78-200 Miles Avenue, Indian Wells, CA 92210.
About the Pacific Life Open
The first major tennis event of the season on U.S. soil, the Pacific Life Open features more than 250 of the world’s best men and women tennis players. Last year, more than 300,000 people attended the event, which is held at the second largest tennis stadium in the world and located just outside of Palm Springs.
About Pacific Life
Founded in 1868, Pacific Life provides life insurance products, individual annuities, and mutual funds, and offers a variety of investment products and services to individuals, businesses, and pension plans. Pacific Life counts more than half of the 50 largest U.S. companies as clients1 and is a member of Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA), whose membership promotes high ethical standards for the sale of individual life insurance and annuities. For additional information about Pacific Life, including its current financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s, visit the company Web site at www.PacificLife.com. 1 Data compiled by Pacific Life using the FORTUNE 500 list as of April 2007.