The Southern California Open, currently sponsored by Mercury Insurance and titled the Mercury Insurance Open is a WTA Tour affiliated professional tennis tournament held at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California. It was classified on the WTA Tour as a Tier I tournament from 2004 until 2007.
The event was formed in 1984 by Raquel Giscafré as the Ginny of San Diego. Prior to this there had been two previous women's tennis tournaments in San Diego: a Virginia Slims event in 1971 and the Wells Fargo Open, which ran from 1979 to 1982. Giscafre's former doubles partner, Jane Stratton, attained co-ownership of the tournament from 1986 until the event's cessation. The tournament has had various principal sponsors throughout its history, and has been played under the headings of the Great American Bank Classic, the Mazda Classic and the Toshiba Classic. The tournament was known for its strong player fields, location in the hills and atmosphere.
Although the tournament achieved the Tier I status only recently, it became a draw to the heavyweights in women's tennis since its inception in the 1980s, being a crucial warm-up tournament leading to the US Open. Past champions of the tournament include former world number ones Steffi Graf, Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams, Martina Hingis, Justine Henin, and Maria Sharapova. Six players won the tournament more than once, four of them consecutively. Graf holds the record for most wins (4); Venus Williams holds the record for most consecutive titles (3).
On September 7, 2009, the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announced the return of professional women's tennis to San Diego in 2010. The Mercury Insurance Open is slated to begin August 2, 2010. The Mercury Insurance Open replaces the LA Women's Tennis Championships on the WTA Tour calendar. The tournament will be a Premier event with $700,000 in prize money. Although the Mercury Insurance Open is under new management, Raquel Giscafre will stay on as the tournament director.
- Virginia Slims of San Diego: 1971, 1985–1988
- Wells Fargo Open: 1979–1982
- Ginny of San Diego: 1984
- Great American Bank Classic: 1989–1990
- Mazda Classic: 1991–1993
- Toshiba Classic; 1994–1998
- TIG Classic: 1999
- Acura Classic: 2000–2007
- Mercury Insurance Open: 2010
Famous quotes containing the word classic:
“On desperate seas long wont to roam,
The hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
To the glory that was Greece,
And the grandeur that was Rome.”
—Edgar Allan Poe (18091849)