Venus, Serena to play in Carson

Times Staff Writer

Making a rare combined appearance in Southern California, tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams have entered the East West Bank Classic tournament, July 21-27 at the Home Depot Center.

It is the first time since 2004 that both of the sisters, who grew up in nearby Compton, have played the event. Neither played in Carson last year, and in fact, Venus, whose best result came with a semifinal appearance in 2004, has not played here since.

The sisters will be treating the hard-court event as a tuneup for the U.S. Open in New York, as it is part of the U.S. Open Series. It may also serve as a tuneup for the Summer Olympics in Beijing. Traditionally, the Carson event is held even closer to the U.S. Open, but most of the summer circuit has been tweaked because of Olympic scheduling issues.

Serena last appeared in Carson in 2006, when she lost in the semifinals to Jelena Jankovic. She won the event twice, in 1999 and 2000, back when it was held in Manhattan Beach.

The Williams sisters historically have opted not to play the same tournaments, other than the Grand Slams and the Miami event, which is close to their home.

Other entrants are Svetlana Kuznetsova, Jankovic, Daniela Hantuchova and Nicole Vaidisova. Jankovic lost in the semifinals last year to eventual champion Ana Ivanovic.


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