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News

Lindsay Davenport, Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams Enter 2005 Advanta Championships Presented by Fox Chase Cancer Center

Individual Tickets On Sale Beginning Saturday, May 28

PHILADELPHIA (May 26, 2005) -- Lindsay, Maria and Venus are coming to town.

Three of tennis' biggest stars are the first players to enter the field for the 2005 Advanta Championships presented by Fox Chase Cancer Center. Lindsay Davenport, the world's top ranked player, 2004 Wimbledon Champion Maria Sharapova and former world No. 1 Venus Williams will take to the courts when the top women tennis players battle for the Advanta title at the Pavilion at Villanova, Oct. 31 - Nov. 6.

Individual tickets for the Advanta Championships presented by Fox Chase Cancer Center go on sale at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 28 at 866-TENNIS-5 (866-836-6475) or www.advantachampionships.com. Individual session tickets range from $15 to $65.

Box seat VIP packages, priced from $235-$2,050, are available by calling 215-591-0800. The VIP Packages include special discount offers to fans that purchase Diamond, Gold and Platinum packages before July 1.

Tournament officials also announced today that Fox Chase Cancer Center, an independent, nonprofit institution devoted to improving cancer treatment and prevention, will be the presenting sponsor and beneficiary from selected tournament activities. The Philadelphia-based Fox Chase Cancer Center has been involved in area tennis for years with their support of World TeamTennis' Philadelphia Freedoms.

The early entries of Davenport, Sharapova and Williams are a sign that the 2005 tournament field should include some of the world's best players. Davenport returns to the Advanta Championships for the first time since 2000 when she won her second consecutive Philadelphia title. The former Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion defeated Martina Hingis in both 1999 and 2000 to capture the Advanta Championships. Davenport, who has won 47 career singles titles, currently tops the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour rankings.

The 18-year-old Russian superstar, currently ranked #2 in the world, has captivated the sports world since her surprising run to last year's Wimbledon title. Since then, Sharapova has not only been an intimidating on-court power but has been a Madison Avenue favorite with a series of high-profile endorsements. Sharapova, who has won nine WTA Tour titles, has some unfinished business at the Advanta Championships where she withdrew due to injury prior to her semifinal match last fall.

Williams is looking to overcome injuries and return to the form that helped her win back-to-back Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles in 2000 and 2001 and vaulted her to the top of the WTA rankings in 2002. Ranked 13th in the world, Williams posted her first singles win of 2005 earlier this month in Istanbul with a victory over rising star Nicole Vaidisova. Williams' best finish at the Advanta Championships was a semifinal appearance in 1999 where she lost to eventual champion Lindsay Davenport. In 2004, Williams was defeated in the quarterfinals by Amelie Mauresmo, who went on to win her second consecutive Advanta title.

"You don't even have to say their last names for people to know who Lindsay, Maria and Venus are," said Peter Fishbach, Tournament Chairman. "This is a great opportunity for tennis and sports fans to watch three of the world's most popular athletes."

In 2004, Mauresmo captured her second consecutive Advanta Championship with a three-set win over Vera Zvonareva. Hometown favorite Lisa Raymond of Wayne, Pa., teamed with Australia Alicia Molik to win her 5th Advanta Championships doubles title last year.

The Advanta Championships presented by Fox Chase Cancer Center, in addition to awarding a $585,000 prize fund, is the final opportunity for players to qualify for the season-ending tour championships in Los Angeles, the following week. The 2005 Advanta Championships begin on Monday, Oct. 31, with the first round of main draw competition and conclude with the finals on Sunday, Nov. 6. The qualifying tournament runs Oct. 28-30 at the Healthplex Sports Club in Springfield, Pa.

Advanta is the title sponsor of the 2005 Advanta Championships and the Fox Chase Cancer Center is the presenting sponsor. Host sponsors of the event are Porsche, Macy's, NBC 10 (WCAU-TV), WolfBlock and CN8. Associate sponsors include Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, E-Tech Solutions, MasterCard, Trinity Capital Advisors, First Data, McDonald's, Frog Commissary and Fastsigns of Delaware.

The tournament is managed by IMG, the world's oldest and largest sports marketing organization.

About ADVANTA:

Advanta focuses on the small business market and related community, providing funding and support to the nation's small businesses and business professionals through innovative products and services. Advanta is one of the nation's largest issuers (through Advanta Bank Corp.) of MasterCard business credit cards to small businesses. Since 1951, Advanta has pioneered many of the marketing techniques common in the financial services industry today, including remote lending and direct mail, affinity and relationship marketing.

Advanta is a long-time supporter of the tennis community and youth fitness activities. Advanta is the presenting sponsor of the World TeamTennis Pro League and official business credit card of WTT. In addition to their involvement with WTT and the "Ready, Set, Racquet!" program, which provides free racquets to children, Advanta sponsors the Advanta Championships, a WTA Tour event in Philadelphia. Advanta continues to be involved in numerous tennis charities including WTT Smash Hits, Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education, and Philadelphia Wheelchair Tennis programs. Learn more about Advanta at www.advanta.com.

MEDIA CREDENTIALS:

To obtain media credentials for the 2005 Advanta Championships, please fax your request on company letterhead to The GEM Group - fax: 303-237-0609 // attn: Rosie Crews. Freelance journalists and photographers must provide proof of assignment.

Media Contacts:

  • Rosie Crews
    The GEM Group
    Phone: 817-684-0366
    E-mail: rcrews@gemgroup.com Troy Ergenbright
  • The GEM Group
    Phone: 303-237-0616
    E-mail: tergenbright@gemgroup.com

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

Media inquiries only, please contact Diana Quattrone at 215-728-7784.

More 2005 News Releases »