New Haven Open Has 5 of World's Top 10
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Wimbledon Champion and World No. 7 Marion Bartoli and Wimbledon Finalist and World No. 18 Sabine Lisicki join four additional top 10 players in the field for the 2013 New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara, a WTA event that is part of the Emirates Airline US Open Series to be held August 16-24, 2013 at the Connecticut Tennis Center, it was announced today by Tournament Director Anne Worcester.
Bartoli is fresh off her first career Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, becoming just the sixth player in the open era to win the title without dropping a set. This was the 28-year-old Frenchwoman's 47th appearance in a Grand Slam and her victory breaks the record for the longest wait to win a maiden Major title. Bartoli will be making her 10th appearance at the New Haven Open, where she has previously reached the quarterfinals six times.
She will be joined by Lisicki, who also reached this year's Wimbledon final. The German pulled off two of the biggest wins of her career over the fortnight, upsetting World No. 1 and defending champion Serena Williams in the round of 16 and World No. 4 and defending finalist Agniezka Radwanska in the semifinals. This will be her first appearance at the New Haven Open.
Aside from Bartoli, four other players in this year's New Haven Open player field are ranked in the WTA top 10: No. 6 and 2012 French Open finalist Sara Errani, who has reached the semifinals or better in three of the last four Grand Slams; No. 8 and defending New Haven Open champion Petra Kvitova, who rolled to the 2012 title without dropping a set; No. 9 Angelique Kerber, who will be making her New Haven Open debut this year; and No. 10 and four-time champion Caroline Wozniacki, who is looking to regain her title after she was forced to retire in last year's semifinals.
"It's Wimbledon in New Haven! Not only do we have Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli and Wimbledon Finalist Sabine Lisicki, but we also have 2011 Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova and English sensation Laura Robson," said Worcester. "All told, we have five of the top 10 players in the world, and this year's New Haven Open player field is one of the strongest we've ever had."
In addition to announcing the player field today, the New Haven Open and First Niagara, American tennis professional Melanie Oudin, and ESPN Anchor Prim Siripipat led a Free Lesson for youth in Newtown, Connecticut to show support from one Connecticut community to another. Oudin and USTA New England taught kids from the Newtown Parks & Rec Day Camp the basics of tennis and emphasized the importance of fitness in their lives.
"It was really special to be able to spread the joy of tennis to the kids in the Newtown community," said Oudin. "Thank you so much to Anne for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful day."
Joining the top-10 stars in this year's field are six other top-25 players: No. 11 Roberta Vinci, who won a singles title in Katowice, Poland this year and is a part of the World No. 1 doubles team along with Errani; Carla Suarez Navarro, who has reached two WTA finals this year in Acapulco and Oeiras, Portugal; Dominika Cibulkova, who won the second singles title of her career in Carlsbad in 2012; Elena Vesnina and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who each have won two WTA titles this year (Vesnina – Hobart and Eastbourne, Pavlyuchenkova – Monterrey and Oeiras); and Ekaterina Makarova, who, along with Vesnina, won the 2013 French Open doubles title.
Other top-30 players represented are No. 26 Sorana Cirstea, No. 27 Laura Robson, No. 29 Lucie Safarova and No. 30 Simona Halep. Cirstea is just a few spots off her career-high ranking of No. 22, which she reached in June; Robson is the youngest player in the field at only 19 years old and is the first British woman in the top 30 since 1987; Safarova was an integral part of the Czech Fed Cup team that captured back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012; and Halep currently sits at her career-high ranking after winning two WTA singles titles in the last month in Nurnberg, Germany and 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.
Rounding out the field are young rising stars Kristina Mladenovic, who won the mixed doubles title at Wimbledon, and Bojana Jovanovski; Urszula Radwanska, younger sister to World No. 4 Agnieszka; Peng Shuai, who won the doubles title at Wimbledon, and Magdalena Rybarikova.
This year, fans will be closer to the action than ever before, as the New Haven Open consolidates all seating into the Box Ring of the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale. This enhanced proximity to the players and on-court action as well as increased in-stadium entertainment is available starting at just $24. Tickets for the 2013 tournament are on sale now, so fans will want to buy early to secure their seats.
For more information on the 2013 tournament, volunteer opportunities and to secure tickets, log on to www.newhavenopen.com or call the New Haven Open Box Office at 855-464-8366. Also, make sure to join the New Haven Open on Facebook & Twitter for tournament updates, contests and more.
About New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara
New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara has always been much more than a tennis tournament; it is a leading example of leveraging a large-scale international sporting event to generate $26 million in regional economic impact and to build community pride, spirit and engagement, especially among youth. The women's-only WTA event is part of the Emirates Airline US Open Series and will be held August 16-24, 2013 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale. The New Haven Open is prominently featured domestically on ESPN2 and Tennis Channel and also broadcast around the world. For more information about the tournament and tickets, visit www.newhavenopen.com or call 1-855-464-8366.
About First Niagara
First Niagara, through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., is a multi-state community-oriented bank with approximately 430 branches, approximately $37 billion in assets, $28 billion in deposits, and approximately 6,000 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses across Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.firstniagara.com.
About Emirates Airline US Open Series
Now in its 10th season, the Emirates Airline US Open Series continues to serve as a true regular season of hardcourt tennis, linking nine summer tournaments to the US Open. Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova won the 2012 Emirates Airline US Open Series men's and women's titles. In 2007, Roger Federer collected the biggest paycheck in tennis history – $2.4 million – for winning the US Open and the Emirates Airline US Open Series titles. In 2005, Kim Clijsters also captured both the US Open and the Series, winning $2.2 million – the largest purse in women's sports history – and equaled that amount in 2010, winning the US Open and finishing the Emirates Airline US Open Series in second place.
Bartoli photo by Getty Images