Belgium's Clijsters shoots for Stanford title
The top seed Kim Clijsters looks to win the 600,000 dollars Bank of the West hardcourt tournament for a fourth time.
Clijsters, who is one of four seeds to receive a first-round bye, has owned this event in recent years. She won here in 2001, reached the final the following year, won in 2003, missed 2004 with a left wrist injury and hoisted the trophy again last year.
"I'm really looking forward to playing here again," Clijsters said.
"Reaching the same level in the next couple of weeks as I did last year will be difficult."
"As I had to shorten my training schedule, it is increasingly difficult to constantly maintain a high level."
The defending US Open champion, Clijsters has not played since reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals. She begins with either Serbian Jelena Jankovic or American wild card Lilia Osterloh.
The second seed is Patty Schnyder of Switzerland, who faces either Argentine Gisela Dulko or a qualifier.
Rising Czech star Nicole Vaidisova, who is making her Stanford debut, is seeded third and will meet Austrian Sybille Bammer, a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 winner over Marion Bartoli of France on Monday.
In an interesting first-round match, No. 8 Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia will play Russian wild card Vera Zvonareva. On Sunday, Zvonareva beat Srebotnik, 6-2, 6-4, to win the Cincinnati title.
In the first of just four matches on Monday, Tatiana Golovin of France beat Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko, 7-5, 6-2.
"I haven't had a lot of matches on hardcourt," said Golovin, who suffered an ankle injury in March. "My ankle is starting to feel better, I'm taking it little by little trying to regain my confidence."
Seventh-seeded Shahar Peer of Israel moved into the second round by rallying for a 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 victory over American Amber Liu, who is ranked just 1,157th in the world.