WORLD NO.6 CAROLINE GARCIA JOINS PETRA KVITOVA AND WIMBLEDON SEMIFINALIST JULIA GOERGES IN WORLD-CLASS ENTRY LIST FOR 2018 CONNECTICUT OPEN
7 of the WTA Top 20 sign up, including 4 Wimbledon quarterfinalists
American Danielle Collins awarded main draw wild card after breakthrough season
NEW HAVEN, Conn., July 10, 2018 World No.6 Caroline Garcia joins two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, 2018 Wimbledon semifinalist Julia Goerges and a host of outstanding WTA talent in a world-class player field at the 2018 Connecticut Open, a US Open Series event that takes place August 17-25, Tournament Director Anne Worcester announced today.
2015 quarterfinalist Garcia, who won back to back titles in Wuhan and Beijing to qualify for the 2017 BNP Paribas WTA Finals in Singapore, is set to make her 5th appearance in New Haven alongside world No.14 and Wimbledon quarterfinalist Daria Kasatkina, who is enjoying a breakthrough year after reaching her first WTA Premier Mandatory final at Indian Wells and lies 9th in the Porsche Race to Singapore.
“New Haven is such a fantastic place to prepare for the US Open,” said French No.1 Garcia. “I have played there many times in the past and always enjoy the tournament atmosphere, the support of the fans and the great competition that the strong draw provides. I have played well there in the past so I hope to be able to build on that this year.”
Goerges, a Porsche ambassador, will face Serena Williams for a place in the Wimbledon final. The German reached the first Grand Slam quarterfinal of her career on Monday having also broken into the Top 10 for the first time earlier this year. Also featured in the entry list and through to the last eight in SW19 were last year’s runner-up and crowd favorite Dominika Cibulkova, dangerous Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens, Kasatkina and Camila Giorgi, who will be forced to play qualifying in New Haven due to the strength of the draw.
Of the 20 players confirmed in the field, four have combined to win eight WTA singles titles in 2018, illustrating the collective international talent that will be on display at the WTA Premier event, which also contains three former Connecticut Open champions in Kvitova, defending champion Daria Gavrilova and 2016 winner Agnieszka Radwanska.
Other notable names on the entry list include Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu, Johanna Konta and Ashleigh Barty. Buzarnescu began 2017 ranked outside the Top 500 and has rocketed up the rankings to No.28 after reaching finals in Hobart and Prague. Talented Australian Barty, our 2017 doubles runner-up with Casey Dellacqua, picked up her first grass-court title in Nottingham last month, beating British No.1 Konta in the final.
“We are thrilled with the strength in depth of our 2018 field,” said Worcester. “We have star players in Caroline Garcia, Petra Kvitova and Wimbledon semifinalist Julia Goerges who next faces Serena for a place in the Wimbledon final; local favorites in our defending champion Daria Gavrilova and last year’s runner-up Domi Cibulkova as well as breakthrough players on the WTA this year such as American Danielle Collins as well as Wimbledon quarterfinalists Daria Kasatkina and Kiki Bertens. Bottom line is that our event will feature a highly competitive field that will treat our fans to some exciting tennis from start to finish and we still have three wild cards to add a couple more big names to the mix.”
Flying the American flag this year will be Danielle Collins, who has been awarded a main draw wild card after rising from 162 to 41 in the WTA rankings this year. Two-time NCAA champion Collins enjoyed a superb run to the semi-finals of the Miami Open, defeating Venus Williams en route for her first Top 10 victory.
Two future stars to watch in this year’s draw include Eastbourne finalist Aryna Sabalenka (20), Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit (22), a semi-finalist in Stuttgart and Rome. While experience – and loyalty to the event – comes in the form of our 2014 runner-up Magdalena Rybarikova, making her seventh appearance in New Haven, 2016 quarterfinalist Ekaterina Makarova, also returning for the seventh time, 32-year-old Czech Barbora Strycova (fifth appearance) and Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro (fifth visit).
The main draw currently features 21 players – 20 direct acceptance and one wild card – with the direct entry cut-off at 35. In addition to adding two more Top 20 players with wild cards, six players will advance through the 48-player qualifying draw to complete the field. The top two seeds at the tournament will receive a bye.
The Connecticut Open will also welcome top doubles seeds at Wimbledon, Timea Babos and her partner Kristina Mladenovic. Babos will become the first Hungarian to rise to the World No.1 ranking in either singles or doubles on Monday, her historic rise helped by 18 career doubles titles, including this year’s Australian Open (w/Mladenovic). The pair currently top the doubles leaderboard in the Porsche Race to Singapore.