Mercury Insurance tennis tourney gets underway

City News Service

Two Americans were knocked out Mondday in the first few matches of the Mercury Insurance Open women’s tennis tournament at the La Costa Resort & Spa.

Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden defeated Ashley Weinhold, 6-3, 6-1, and Elena Baltacha of Great Britain downed Melanie Oudin, 6-0, 6-1.

But another American player, Alexa Glatch, defeated Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova, 6-1, 6-2.

The tournament began play without some big names the organizers were hoping for. Defending singles champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, 2011 Wimbledon singles champion Petra Kvitova and defending U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters all pulled out, citing injuries.

Featured players remaining in the event include Ana Ivanovic, once the top-ranked player in the world, and Vera Zvonareva, who is ranked third in the world.

Also featured are Germany’s top three professional tennis stars, Andrea Petkovic, Julia Goerges and Sabine Lisicki.

“All three of these dynamic, rapidly rising players have a very entertaining style. They are starting to make an impact in women’s professional tennis and are on the verge of achieving great things in the sport,’' said Raquel Giscafre, the tournament director.

Reserved grandstand and box seat tickets for the event range from $10-$125.

Monday is Kids Day at the tournament, with free admission for children under age 16. Youths can participate in several events throughout the day including a tennis clinic, prize giveaways and professional demonstrations.

Members of the military, police and fire department also receive free admission Monday and a special presentation will be held at 7 p.m. as part of Celebrate Our Heroes Night.

Monday evening’s matches will offer a local flavor as Coco Vandeweghe of Rancho Santa Fe takes on Sorana Cirstea, while Zoe Scandalis, a recent graduate of San Pasqual High School, faces Christina McHale.

Autograph sessions will be held throughout the event.