The $ 600,000 WTA Bangalore Open, to be held here from March 3-9, received a big boost today with former world number one Serena Williams confirming her participation.
The 26-year-old American is the winner of eight Grand Slam singles titles as well as an Olympic gold medal. She is currently ranked seventh on the WTA Tour.
Serena had pulled out of the Bangalore Open last year saying she was not feeling well at the time.
Officials of Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association, the hosts for the tournament, are sure Serena is going to turn out this year.
"Her office called and said she would like to come back to Bangalore as she missed coming here last year and would like to make up for that," Tournament Director and KSLTA Secretary Sunder Raju told reporters.
Russian Vera Zvonareva has also confirmed her participation in the tournament. The 23-year-old from Moscow, who had reached a career high ranking of nine in 2004, is currently ranked 22th on the WTA Tour.
The Bangalore Open champion would take home USD 95,500 and 300 WTA points. The tournament was a Tier-III event with prize money of USD 175,000 last year and has been upgraded to a Tier-II event from this season.
Raju said CEO of the WTA Tour Larry Scott would visit Bangalore during the event.