Wimbledon finalist and world No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska leads four of the WTA top ten and 18 2012 Olympians in the player field for the 2012 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 17-25, 2012 at the Connecticut Tennis Center, it was announced today by Tournament Director Anne Worcester.
Radwanska, world No. 8 and four-time defending champion Caroline Wozniacki, world No. 9 and French Open finalist Sara Errani and world No. 10 Marion Bartoli headline the 2012 field as the four players ranked in the WTA Top 10. Joining them are top-25 players Maria Kirilenko, Dominika Cibulkova, Kaia Kanepi, Flavia Pennetta, Andrea Petkovic, Nadia Petrova, Francesca Schiavone, Lucie Safarova and Zheng Jie as well as two-time Grand Slam Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Rising star Christina McHale will also be competing to be the first American since Lindsay Davenport in 2005 to lift the New Haven Open trophy. Rounding out the field are former world No. 5 and fan favorite Daniela Hantuchova, defending New Haven Open finalist Petra Cetkovska, 2012 Wimbledon quarterfinalist Tamira Paszek, Anabel Medina Garrigues, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Ekaterina Makarova and Mona Barthel.
All but two of the competitors of the 2012 New Haven Open have won a WTA title in their careers and boast an impressive 121 between them, an average of more than five per player. Leading the way is four-time defending New Haven Open champion Wozniacki, with 18 titles to her name, followed by Kuznetsova with 13 and Petrova and Medina Garrigues with 11 apiece.
â€œThis yearâ€™s player field is one of the strongest weâ€™ve had, and we still have four Wild Cards to be named,â€ said Worcester. â€œTo have 18 Olympians playing in the New Haven Open at Yale is a testament to our internationally competitive field. Fans are in for a real treat from the get-go, with exciting matches between some of the worldâ€™s best players in store from the first round on.â€
To celebrate 15 years of womenâ€™s tennis in New Haven, and for 15 days only, all middle-tier tickets will be on sale for $15 (which is up to a 66 percent discount for fans). Additionally, $2 of each ticket sold will be donated directly to Smilow Cancer Hospital Breast Center at Yale New Haven. First Niagara will also make a matching donation of $1 per ticket sold (up to $5,000) to Smilow Cancer Hospital Breast Center. This â€œ15-Loveâ€ promotion will run for a limited time, July 11-26.
â€œFirst Niagara is pleased to be able to support the New Haven Openâ€™s important â€˜15-Loveâ€™ cause-related ticket promotion by offering a matching donation of up to $5,000,â€ said David Ring, President, New England Region and Head of Enterprise Banking at First Niagara Bank. â€œThis donation is a testament to First Niagaraâ€™s strong commitment to this community and will hopefully further encourage fans to buy tickets now and support a great cause in Smilow Cancer Hospital Breast Center at Yale-New Haven.â€
â€œThe fight against breast cancer is something the New Haven Open puts among its top priorities,â€ said Worcester. â€œThe â€˜15-Loveâ€™ ticket promotion celebrates 15 years of womenâ€™s tennis in New Haven by offering a spectacular price to watch some of the worldâ€™s best tennis while contributing funds to Smilow Breast Center for cutting edge research as well as ensuring services for under-served women in our community.â€
U.S. Olympian Varvara Lepchenko was on hand with Worcester and other Connecticut dignitaries including State Senator Toni Harp and State Representative Toni Walker in front of First Niagara Bank on Wednesday to help announce this new campaign. The native of Uzbekistan, who became a U.S. citizen in September of 2011 before reaching the fourth round of the 2012 French Open and qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Team, jogged on the famed CYBEX Pink Treadmill.
The CYBEX Pink Ribbon Run sponsored by Healthtrax returns to the New Haven Open this year and offers players, fans, sponsors and media the opportunity to walk or run on a special pink treadmill to raise funds for breast cancer. For every mile logged, donations will be made to Smilow Cancer Hospital Breast Center at Yale-New Haven. In addition, the pink treadmill, which will be signed by the WTA players and celebrities, will be auctioned off after the New Haven Open and all proceeds will be donated to the Breast Center at Smilow.
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