When it comes to tennis, it can be said for certain that it is a game of streaks.
In a streak that stretched from 1973 to 1979, Chris Evert won 125 consecutive singles matches on clay, and in 1984, Martina Navratilova put together a 74-match winning streak.
Another noteworthy tennis streak also began in 1984 when Raquel Giscafre and Jane Stratton, two former tennis professionals who became tennis promoters, organized a lower-level women's professional tennis event in San Diego.
That event, which became one of the top events on the women's tour, would continue at various San Diego County locations for 24 years, including the last 17 years at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad. After the 2007 event, the streak came to a close when the tournament's sanction was sold to the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).
In 2009, Octagon, a sports and entertainment management agency, purchased a WTA tournament sanction and spearheaded the return of women's professional tennis to the La Costa Resort and Spa. One of the first things Octagon did in announcing the return to San Diego County was to hire Giscafre to serve as tournament director.
After a two-year hiatus, the tournament, now known as the Mercury Insurance Open Presented by Tri-City Medical Center, staged a successful return in 2010 and a new streak has been established.
With expanded singles draws, the tradition of women's professional tennis in Carlsbad will be bigger and better than ever in 2011. The singles draw will feature 56 of the top players in the world, while 32 players will compete for qualifying spots in the main draw.
"It felt really good to be back last year and to know the tournament is here to stay," said Raquel Giscafre, Mercury Insurance Open tournament director. "The event has started to put down roots in the community again and it's going to continue to grow."
The return of women's professional tennis to the La Costa Resort and Spa would not have been possible without the support of title sponsor Mercury Insurance and presenting sponsor Tri-City Medical Center.
Mercury Insurance, founded in 1962, is a multiple-line insurance organization predominantly offering personal automobile and homeowners insurance through a network of independent agents and brokers. Specializing in providing quality insurance at affordable prices, Mercury Insurance is taking a pro-active role as title sponsor of the Mercury Insurance Open.
"Mercury Insurance is a Southern California company and our roots run deep in these communities," said Erik Thompson, advertising director for Mercury Insurance. "Our employees and agents live and work in the cities and towns we serve, and it's important for us to be active participants in each of these communities. So when the opportunity arose to help bring professional tennis back to Carlsbad, we jumped at the chance. This tournament has meant so much to so many over the past two decades and Raquel and her team have done such a great job reaching out to charities, youth tennis organizations and the public that we knew it was a perfect fit for Mercury."
This year Mercury is launching a "Don't Text and Drive" initiative during the 2011 Mercury Insurance Open. By boosting public awareness about the dangers of texting while driving, the company hopes to save lives by reducing accidents, which will also lower insurance rates for everyone.
"The Mercury Insurance Open helps demonstrate our commitment to our customers and the communities in which they live and we look forward to helping this event grow into one of the region's top sporting events," Thompson added.
Tri-City Medical Center, a Joint Commission gold seal accredited, full-service, acute care hospital, is also actively involved as the presenting sponsor of the Mercury Insurance Open. The Medical center, which is celebrating 50 years caring for the community, is administered by the Tri-City Healthcare District which includes Oceanside, Vista and most of Carlsbad.
A cocktail reception to benefit Tri-City's Edgar and Jo Anne Jones Women's Diagnostic Center will be held in conjunction with the Mercury Insurance Open. The reception will be held on Thursday, August 4 at 5 p.m.
Celebrity guests and players will attend and there will be silent and live auctions. Guests will also receive admission to the evening matches following the reception. Proceeds from the benefit will be used to purchase a dedicated ultrasound stereotactic breast biopsy machine for the Women's Diagnostic Center. For more information and to purchase tickets to the cocktail reception call (760) 940-3370.
"We are very fortunate to have Mercury Insurance and Tri-City Medical Center as our title and presenting sponsors," Giscafre said. "With their sponsorship, we will be able to bring exciting women's professional tennis to Carlsbad for many years to come."
Individual tournament tickets are on sale at www.MercuryInsuranceOpen.com or by phone at (760) 930-7032. The tournament is currently offering ticket packages at (760) 930-7032.
The Mercury Insurance Open is a participating tournament in the Olympus US Open Series. The US Open Series, now in its eighth year, is a six-week summer tennis season that links 10 ATP World Tour and WTA tournaments together. The series leads into the US Open. The Mercury Insurance Open is the second women's event within the series. For additional information about the Mercury Insurance Open:
log onto http://www.mercuryinsuranceopen.com/, join us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SDTennis) or follow frequent updates on Twitter (http://twitter.com/MercuryInsOpen).
The event has had many great moments since it began in 1984. Here is a historical recap of each year: