By Connecticut Open Staff
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – 2014 Wimbledon champion and world No. 4 Petra Kvitova, 2014 Wimbledon finalist and world No. 7 Genie Bouchard, and defending champion and world No. 3 Simona Halep will headline the field at the 2014 Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies – a field that has collectively won 14 Grand Slam and 188 WTA singles and doubles titles.
The WTA event, which is part of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, will be held August 15-23, 2014 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale,
Kvitova, the 2012 Connecticut Open Champion, marched through the Wimbledon fortnight the past two weeks to grab her second career Wimbledon and Grand Slam title in four years, becoming just the third two-time winner in women’s singles since 1996. The Czech star defeated Bouchard in the first Grand Slam final of the young star’s career. The 20-year-old has rapidly ascended the rankings to become the highest-ranked Canadian player in history, thanks to semifinals appearances at both the Australian and French Opens, along with capturing her first WTA title at Nurnberg. This will be her first appearance at the Connecticut Open.
Halep is having a fantastic season highlighted by a finals appearance at the French Open, reaching the semifinals of Wimbledon and winning the title in Doha, all of which have catapulted her to a career-high ranking of No. 3 in the world. She returns to defend her 2013 Connecticut Open title, where she defeated Kvitova to win the trophy.
Aside from Halep, Kvitova and Bouchard, five other players in this year’s Connecticut Open field are ranked in the WTA top 20 including No. 15 and four-time Connecticut Open Champion Caroline Wozniacki, who will be chasing a record fifth title in New Haven. (She is currently tied with Venus Williams with four Connecticut Open titles). In addition to Wozniacki, No. 13 Flavia Pennetta, who won in Indian Wells earlier this year; No. 14 and 2012 French Open finalist Sara Errani; No. 16 Carla Suarez-Navarro, who will be making her fourth Connecticut Open appearance; and No. 19 Ekaterina Makarova, a Grand Slam doubles champion, who advanced to the quarterfinals at New Haven last year, will compete for the title.
Joining the Top 20 stars in this year’s field are American Coco Vandeweghe, a former US Open Junior Champion who also triumphed at s’-Hertogenbosh to capture her first WTA title; Garbine Muguruza, who advanced to this year’s French Open quarterfinals, defeating world No. 1 Serena Williams along the way; Roberta Vinci, who teamed with Errani to complete the doubles Grand Slam at this year’s Wimbledon; Shuai Zhang, who advanced to the semifinals at Birmingham, Kuala Lumpur and Acapulco this year; Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova, who advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinals and made a finals appearance in Birmingham, England; Klara Koukalova, a victor in Florianopolis and finals attendee in Rio de Janeiro and Hobart; Elina Svitolina, who advanced to the semifinals in Nurnberg; and Casey Dellacqua, a Birmingham semifinalist.
Rounding out the field are Magdalena Rybarikova, a four-time WTA tournament winner and semifinalist at s’-Hertogenbosch; Kurumi Nara, winner in Rio de Janeiro; Camila Giorgi, who advanced to the finals in Katowice; and Bojana Jovanovski.
“The 2014 Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies player field is loaded with talent,” said Tournament Director Anne Worcester. “All told, we have three of the Top 10 players in the world, eight of the Top 20, and with the men’s event featuring James Blake, Andy Roddick and Jim Courier, the tournament promises to be exceptionally entertaining this year.”
On Wednesday, Aug. 20, Fairfield native James Blake, a two-time Connecticut Open Champion and former Top 5 player, will match up against Jim Courier, a four-time Grand Slam Champion and former world No. 1. On Thursday, Aug. 21, Blake will face Andy Roddick, another former world No. 1 and Grand Slam champion. Both matches will be played following the 7 p.m. WTA feature match on their respective nights.
The field will be completed in the coming weeks with the addition of four wild cards, which the tournament will award, and the addition of six players who will advance through the 48 player qualifying draw. The first two seeds at the tournament will receive a bye.