While the Pilot Pen may be nothing more than a piece of Connecticut sports history, the new New Haven Open, a women’s-only affair, gained a major boost when Caroline Wozniacki, the No. 1-ranked women’s player in the world, announced that she will return to New Haven in hopes of earning her fourth straight crown this August. The New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara is a WTA event and part of the Olympus US Open Series that will be held August 18-27, 2011 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale.
The 20-year old Dane has never lost match in New Haven winning all three times she entered the tournament. Each year she has entered New Haven Open at Yale she has climbed the rankings—in 2008 she entered at No. 30 in the world, in 2009 at No. 9, and last year at No. 2.
After winning in New Haven last year, the 20-year-old Great Dane reached the semifinal round of the US Open. Together with her strong play in the fall wins in Tokyo and Beijing giving her a tour-leading six titles in 2010, she earned the No. 1 ranking. This year, the blond beauty has continued her hot streak by reaching the semis in Australia, followed by wins at Dubai, Indian Wells and Charleston.
“New Haven Open at Yale is clearly one of my favorite tournaments of the year,” said Wozniacki. “I am glad to be coming back this summer and it would be incredible to win the event for a fourth-time. I was glad to hear last fall that the tournament had secured new sponsors to keep the rich tradition of women’s tennis going in New Haven.”
Should she successfully defend her title here, Wozniacki would enter rarified air, becoming only the second player in history to win four straight titles in New Haven, joining Venus Williams who accomplished the feat from 1999-2002.
“Our event is all new this year—new name, new sponsors, new events and more—but the beautiful thing is that fans will once again get to see the best players in the world, starting with World No. 1 and three-time defending champion Caroline Wozniacki,” said tournament director Anne Worcester. “In addition to top players and rising stars, the New Haven Open at Yale will deliver new special events like the US Open National Playoffs Championships, an expanded New Haven Food & Wine Festival, an enhanced Aetna FitZone for both kids and adults, and much more.”
Immediately after making the announcement, Worcester revealed that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent successful surgery. While she hopes to return to duty before the start of the tournament, in the meantime day-to-day operations will be handled by tournament manager Dana Cialfi, who has been a key member of Worcester’s staff for eight years.