Agnieszka Radwanska and Alison Riske have been awarded wildcards into the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, it was announced today by tournament director Anne Worcester. The WTA event, which is part of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, will be held August 21-29, 2015 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale.
Radwanska, one of the elite talents in the WTA, has reached the semifinals at Wimbledon in three of the last four years, including a finals appearance in 2012. In addition to this year’s semifinal effort at The All England Club, the talented Pole also reached the finals at Eastbourne and semifinals at Katowice and Nottingham in 2015. Radwanska, who will be making her fifth trip to New Haven, has a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the world, holds 14 WTA singles titles.
“I enjoy the city of New Haven and the Connecticut Open, so I’m excited to get back to the tournament and compete,” said Radwanska. “I’m looking forward to a great preparation for the US Open, and I hope to play well in Connecticut.”
Riske moves from the qualifying field and into the main draw, becoming the fourth American to gain direct entry. The 25-year-old has achieved great success in New Haven, advancing through qualifying en route to a Round of 16 performance in 2013 followed by last year’s quarterfinals effort. Riske also boasts wins over Top-20 stars Carla Suarez Navarro and Timea Bacsinszky this month
Radwanska and Riske join a strong field that features five of the top seven ranked players in the world, including Simona Halep (No. 3), defending Connecticut Open champion Petra Kvitova (4), four-time New Haven champion Caroline Wozniacki (5), French Open finalist Lucie Safarova (6), and Karolina Pliskova (7). In addition, six other top 20 players are in the field, including Belinda Bencic (12), Bacsinszky (14), Radwanska (15), Sara Errani (16), Madison Keys (19) and Elina Svitolina (20). No. 8 Garbine Muguruza, who had accepted a wildcard earlier this week, and early commit Ekaterina Makarova have withdrawn from the tournament.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to add another Grand Slam finalist in Agnieszka Radwanska and another promising American in Alison Riske,” said Worcester. “The talent arriving in New Haven for the 2015 Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies is truly extraordinary. In addition to early commits Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova, and newly-crowned tournament champions Belinda Bencic and Sloane Stephens, the world-class talent arriving in New Haven this year is sure to provide fans with an amazing experience at the tournament.”
Wozniacki, who has a 25-3 match record in her seven years in Connecticut, will be seeking her fifth crown in New Haven. She is currently tied with Venus Williams for the most Connecticut Open titles with four.
“The Connecticut Open has been a special place for me during my career, and there are few places on Tour where I feel more at home than in New Haven” said Wozniacki. “The fans are wonderful, and Yale provides a tremendous atmosphere for a world-class event. I’m looking forward to my time in New Haven and I hope to win my fifth Connecticut Open title.”
Wildcards into the qualifying draw were awarded to Americans Samantha Crawford, Nicole Gibbs and Vania King, giving the tournament eight Americans in the qualifying field. King owns 14 titles on the WTA doubles circuit, including Grand Slam wins at Wimbledon and the US Open. Crawford won the US Open Wildcard Challenge earlier this month, which earned her direct entry into the US Open main draw. Gibbs, who reached the third round of the 2013 US Open, holds four ITF singles titles in her career.
In addition, for the second consecutive year, Fairfield native James Blake, Andy Roddick and Jim Courier will compete in the Men’s Legends Event presented by PowerShares Series. This year, they will also be joined by John McEnroe. On Thurs., Aug.t 27, Blake will play Roddick, and on Fri., Aug,t 28, McEnroe will battle Courier. Both matches will be the second match of the evening session, following the WTA quarterfinal and semifinal matches, respectively.
Call for Volunteers
Volunteers are still needed to help with the event. Roles include in-stadium ushers, player transportation, Aetna FitZone and general volunteers. In return for their assistance, volunteers will receive a free uniform, tickets, meal vouchers, photo credential and parking. In addition, the volunteer time can be used toward community service hours and gaining event experience. For more information about the 2015 Connecticut Open, including daily tickets and packages, sponsorship packages, hospitality and becoming a volunteer, visit www.ctopen.org or call 1-855-464-8366.