The North American hard court season kicks off this week at the Bank of the West Classic and Citi Open.
WTA Staff
July 31, 2017

STANFORD, CA, USA/WASHINGTON DC, USA - The summer hard court season gets underway this week as play begins at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif. and the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. 

Check out all the top stories of the week in Stanford and the nation's captial:

1. Wimbledon champ Muguruza returns to action
Top seed Garbiñe Muguruza headlines the field at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, as the World No.4 competes in her first event since winning her second Grand Slam title. After a first-round bye, Muguruza will face the winner of rising American teenager Kayla Day and Misaki Doi in the second round.

2. Halep debuts in DC
On the other side of the States, Simona Halep is the top seed at the Citi Open as she makes her debut at the WTA International-level stop. Like Muguruza, the World No.2 is the lone top 10 player in the draw and has an exciting first-round match on the cards with wildcard Sloane Stephens returning from injury.

3. Stephens returns to a successful stop
Speaking of Stephens, the former champion returns to the Citi Open after being unable to defend her title a year ago with a first round defeat. The American won the Citi Open in 2015 over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for what was her first career WTA title.

4. SoCal's best comes home
American teenager CiCi Bellis, playing in her third Bank of the West Classic, is seeded for the first time in her hometown event at No.8. The World No.44 was a wildcard entry each of the past two seasons. 

5. Stanford wildcards are anything but
The wildcard contingent at the Bank of the West Classic is a group with a championship pedigree, headlined by former finalist Maria Sharapova, and No.2 seed Petra Kvitova. Rounding out the trio is 17-year-old American Claire Liu, who recently won the junior girls' title at Wimbledon.

6. Mladenovic looks to double up in DC
Kristina Mladenovic, the No.2 seed at the Citi Open, will look to add a singles title in Washington to go along with her 2015 doubles crown, which she won alongside Belinda Bencic. 

7. (Seven)Teens on both coasts
With Day and Liu competing in Stanford, fellow 17-year-old Bianca Andreescu looks to contine a recent run of form as a wildcard in the Citi Open draw. The Canadian made her Grand Slam main draw debut at Wimbledon and faces Camila Giorgi in the opening round.

8. Stars and stripes abound
It's a busy week for Americans on home soil, as 10 start the week in the singles draw in Stanford, with six competing in Washington.

9. Bank of the West's college flavor
As always, the Stanford tournament sees a host of former NCAA stars in the main draw. Former Cardinal stars Nicole Gibbs and Kristie Ahn are joined by former UCLA Bruin Jennifer Brady, former USC standout Danielle Lao, and UCLA commit Caroline Dolehide, who qualified for the main draw. 

10. Watch first ball to last at WTA TV
Catch all the action live from the two stops on WTA TV - as the WTA's official live streaming service kicks off on Monday. For more information on WTA TV, and to sign up for a monthly or yearly subscription, visit wtatv.com.