Wimbledon champion Serena Williams has flown straight to Stanford to defend her Bank of the West Classic title this week.
Stanford is the first event of the summer US Open Series as the North American hard court swing kicks off, a week earlier than usual due to the Olympics at the end of the month. Hence just a few days after winning her fifth Wimbledon title, Serena will be in action in this collegiate town. Luckily she has a first round bye which will give her time to recover from the jetlag.
The Bank of the West Classic has considerable prestige, hence the strength of this year's field despite the tournament's location in the calendar. Martina Navratilova won the title five times and other past greats who have triumphed here include Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Kim Clijsters, Martina Hingis, Venus Williams, Lindsay Davenport and many more.
If Serena continues from where she left off at Wimbledon she should have few problems in reaching the final. Third seed Dominika Cibulkova could put up a reasonable fight if she makes it to the semis but at 5'3, the Slovak doesn't have enough of a serve to trouble Serena.
The bottom half is more interesting with Marion Bartoli, Jelena Jankovic and the ever dangerous Yanina Wickmayer. None of these players had a particularly great Wimbledon so they've had plenty of time to get used to the hard court surface in the past week.