Connecticut Open Issues Final 2 Wild Cards

The Connecticut Open field has been strengthened with four wild-card entries announced over the past two days.

The additions are headed by 13th-ranked Dominika Cibulkova, a finalist at the Australian Open this year. Andrea Petkovic (No. 19), Sam Stosur (No. 22) and Kirsten Flipkens received the other entries.

Stosur, the 2011 U.S. Open champ, and Flipkens were announced on Thursday. Flipkens gained entry into the tournament when Svetlana Kuznetsova, announced as wild card entry on Wednesday, withdrew.

Tournament director Anne Worcester said she has been inundated with requests from highly ranked players, making the wild-card selection more challenging than in previous years.

The New Haven tournament falls the week before the U.S. Open. In previous years, some players have elected to rest or practice rather than come to Connecticut. But the WTA calendar lost a summer event when the Carlsbad, Calif., tournament was moved to Tokyo and will be played in the fall, leaving players with one less opportunity for some fine-tuning before the U.S. Open.

That may be why so many players are interested in playing matches in New Haven.

"We usually get one or maybe two top players requesting," Worcester said. "But this year, we had more than 30 requests between main draw and qualifying. It has been very, very intense. It's highly unusual that all three main draw wild cards are top 25 players."

With the three wild cards, the tournament has 12 of the top 25 players in the world. The field is led by No. 2 Simona Halep, the defending champion. Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova (No. 4) and Wimbledon finalist Genie Bouchard (No. 8) will also be in New Haven, along with four-time winner Caroline Wozniacki (No. 12).

Qualifying for the tournament begins Friday at the Connecticut Tennis Center. The main draw is next week, and the title match is scheduled for Aug. 23.

Cibulkova will be making her third consecutive appearance in New Haven and her sixth overall. She was a quarterfinalist in 2010. This year, she reached a career-high ranking of No. 10.

Petrovic was a semifinalist at the French Open this year. She will be making her fourth appearance in New Haven and second in a row.

Stosur has appeared in New Haven seven times and advanced to the semifinals (2006) and quarterfinals (2010).

Flipkens was ranked as high as 13th in 2013 when she advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals.

"It's a very strong wild-card year for the tournament," Worcester said. "And with three of the top eight [players in the world], it's like a dream come true. … We should have really exciting matches from the first round on."

Wild cards into the qualifying draw were awarded Wednesday to Americans Danielle Collins, Nicole Gibbs, Grace Min and Caitlin Whoriskey, as well as Romanian Sorana Cirstea and Israeli Shahar Peer.

For ticket information, visit or call 1-855-464-8366.

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad