Where: Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale University, New Haven, CT
When: Aug. 20-26, 2016 (qualifying starts Aug. 18)
Defending Champions: Agnieszka Radwanska (singles); Sania Mirza and Monica Niculescu (doubles)
Tournament Website: www.ctopen.org
The Connecticut Open has been played in New Haven, Conn., since 1998. The tournament, also recognized as the U.S. Women’s Hard Court Championships, began in 1948, moving between California, Washington, Utah and Colorado. After a hiatus from 1970 to 1987, it was revived in San Antonio in 1998 and moved to Vermont in 1993. It was held in New Haven as a dual event in conjunction with the ATP World Tour from 2005 to 2010, at which time the men’s component moved to Winston-Salem, N.C. The event changed its name to the Connecticut Open in 2014.
Past women's champions include current or future Hall of Famers Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport, Steffi Graf, Justine Henin, Martina Navratilova, Monica Seles and Venus Williams. New Haven has been dominated in recent years by Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova, who have combined to win seven of the last nine titles.
Agnieszka Radwanska closed the US Open Series in style a year ago, defeating Elina Svitolina, 6-1, 7-6, for her second career Series title (along with the 2014 Rogers Cup). The Pole did not drop a set en route to her first New Haven crown, posting victories over rising star Jelena Ostapenko, Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens and two-time defending champion Petra Kvitova before topping Svitolina in the finale.
In doubles, Sania Mirza picked up her second title of the 2016 Series season, this time teaming with Monica Niculescu to defeat Chia-Jung Chuang and Kateryna Bondarenko, 7-5, 6-4.
This year’s Connecticut Open will once again bring down the curtain on the US Open Series season with a fine field ready to begin its final preparations for the US Open. Twelve players ranked in the Top 30 are set to compete, including defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska, three-time winner Petra Kvitova, former Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova, world No. 13 Kristina Mladenovic and No. 18 Elena Vesnina. Also entered are 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur, 2015 US Open finalist Roberta Vinci and past Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard
Top Americans slated for the main draw include 2017 Auckland winner Lauren Davis and Sloane Stephens, who recently returned from injury to reach the semifinals of the Rogers Cup.
Net Generation Events
Kids' Day: Sunday, Aug. 20
HIgh School Tennis Day: Sunday, Auug. 20
Hispanic Day: Tuesday, Aug. 22
NJTL Clinic: Tuesday, Aug. 22
Since the tournament’s revival in 1988, every champion but 2004 winner Elena Bovina has either won a Grand Slam singles title or reached a Slam singles final.
– E.J. Crawford