Serena Williams in action at the Wimbledon tournament on July 14, 2018. Williams is scheduled to compete in San Jose at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic.

PA Images/Sipa USA

Serena Williams Boosts Debut Of San Jose Tennis Tournament

July 31, 2018 - 3:17 pm
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Serena Williams will step onto a pro tennis court in San Jose for the first time on Tuesday in a match that is sure to thrill local tennis fans.

Due to high demand to see Williams' match, Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic.tournament officials added 100 more seats for her match on Tuesday evening against Johanna Konta. 

"No one pulls more tickets than Serena Williams at the moment in women's tennis, so we're very excited to have her," Tournament director Vickie Gunnarsson t KCBS Radio,

More eyes will be on Williams than usual, who had a rough start to the season after giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, on September 1, 2017. 

Williams told Vogue magazine earlier this year that she developed a pulmonary embolism after having an emergency c-section, which led to several operations and left her bedridden for six weeks.

After losing in early rounds at the Indian Wells Masters and Miami Open, and withdrawing from the Australian Open due to injury, she finished second at Wimbledon where she was ranked 25th seed. The Silicon Valley Classic comes less than one month before Williams returns to the US Open in August, where she will try to score her 24th Grand Slam title and tie Margaret Court's record.

"There hasn't been a WTA event in San Jose before, so this is the first time that Serena has stepped on the court in San Jose and it means a lot to the audience and to the entire event," Gunnarsson said. 

That's because the tournament, formerly known as the Bank of the West Classic took place at Stanford University for 54 years. The tournament found its new home at the new San Jose State Tennis Complex, which opened in December featuring six state-of-the-art courts.

"We're in the heart of Silicon Valley, we have the great weather in the summer, players love it here," said Gunnarsson.

Serena's sister Venus Williams will step onto the court on Thursday in the second round and says of the tournament's new home, "Obviously I'm looking forward to making some new memories here. And they've got this new tennis facility everyone's so proud of, and the courts are hitting well and people are excited and I'm excited so it's all good," said Venus Williams. "I think the positive part of it too is that there will be even more spectators who maybe weren't exposed before who will be here."