The newly named Connecticut Open, to be played Aug. 15-23 at the Connecticut Tennis Center in New Haven, filled its 2014 brackets on Wednesday by adding former US Open Champion and World No. 22 Sam Stosur and 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens to the main draw. The tournament, which has gone through several incarnations from the Volvo to the Pilot Pen and, most recently, the New Haven Open, is a WTA event that is part of the Emirates Airline US Open Series—a major tune-up for the upcoming U.S. Open in New York.
Both Stosur and Flipkins were awarded wildcard entries.
This will be the seventh visit to New Haven for Stosur, who stopped Serena Williams in straight sets to win the 2011 US Open women’s singles championship. The 30-year-old Australian advanced to the semifinals in New Haven 2006 and the quarterfinals in 2010, her last appearance in the Nutmeg State. Stosur, currently ranked No. 22 in the world, has reached one final and two semifinals in the French Open, and has been ranked as high as No. 4 in the world. Most recently she dropped a hard-fought match to Williams, 6-0, 6-2, at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Wednesday.
Flipkens reached No. 13—her career high ranking—in 2013, thanks largely to a strong grass-court season that included her first-ever Grand Slam semifinal appearance at Wimbledon. The 28-year-old Belgian was granted a wildcard in New Haven after Svetlana Kuznetsova, the former French and US Open champion, withdrew yesterday.
In addition, American Alison Riske also gained entry into the main draw with the withdrawal of Zhang Shuai.
Stosur and Flipkens join Dominika Cibulkova and Andrea Petkovic—ranked No. 13 and 19 in the world, respectively—as wildcards. Overall, the New Haven field includes features 11 of the top 25 ranked players in the world including defending Connecticut Open Champion Simona Halep (No. 2), 2014 Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova (No. 4), 2014 Wimbledon runner-up Genie Bouchard (No. 8), and four-time Connecticut Open Champion Caroline Wozniacki (No. 12).
"Adding a Grand Slam Champion in Sam Stosur, and a recently ranked top 20 player in Kirsten Flipkens, is a great way to round out the Connecticut Open field," said tournament director Anne Worcester. "Sam played World No. 1 Serena Williams extremely tough yesterday in Cincinnati, and if she plays that way in New Haven next week then she will have a legitimate shot at the title.”
In addition to the strong women’s draw, this year men’s tennis returns to New Haven as Fairfield native James Blake, a two-time New Haven Open champion, will take on two former No. 1-ranked players—Jim Courier and Andy Roddick, in Men’s Legends exhibition matches.
On Wednesday, Aug. 20, Blake will take on Courier, a four-time Grand Slam winner and a 23-time ATP Tour titlist. Courier, a member of two victorious U.S. Davis Cup teams, is currently the team’s captain. Then, the following day, Blake will face Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion and a five-time Grand Slam finalist. Both matches will be played after the conclusion of the 7 p.m. WTA feature matches, and will be best-of-three sets with a super tie-break played, if necessary.
For more information about the Connecticut Open and to order tickets visit www.ctopen.org, or call 1-855-464-8366.