Sloane Stephens gets wild card into Connecticut Open
NEW HAVEN —WTA star Sloane Stephens has been granted a wild card into the prestigious main draw of the 2017 Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, tournament director Anne Worcester announced today. Stephens, who holds four WTA singles titles and reached a career-high world ranking of No.11 in October 2013, took part in a USTA kids’ clinic for 350 New Haven Third Graders at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale and was delighted to be the second player confirmed for this year’s WTA Premier event.
“I’m so excited to receive a wild card for this year’s Connecticut Open,” said Stephens, who recently underwent surgery on a left foot injury that has kept her sidelined since the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. “I was disappointed when I had to withdraw at the last minute last year because of my knee injury. I have been working really hard on my rehab so it’s nice to have something to work towards and I am looking forward to being back competing this summer.”
A Premier WTA event that is part of the US Open Series, the Connecticut Open is Aug.18-26 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale and this summer celebrates 20 years of women’s tennis in New Haven.
Worcester, who confirmed defending champion and world No.8 Agnieszka Radwanska as her first commitment player last month, ssaid: “We are so pleased to be able to confirm a wild card for Sloane as we gear up for a fantastic summer of tennis. Giving back to the community is at the heart of what we do and we were so pleased that she was able to take part in our 14th Free Tennis Lesson.”
Stephens, 24, is an ambassador for Soles4Souls, a Nashville-based charity that collects new and used shoes and clothing and redistributes it to those in need around the world. The Connecticut Open partnered with Soles4Souls in 2016 to donate a colossal 550lbs worth of shoes and Stephens announced a relaunch of that initiative this summer.
“The Connecticut Open is committed to giving back and I am thrilled that they will once again support my work for Soles4Souls,” said Stephens, who recently founded the Sloane Stephens Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that develops sustainable enrichment programs for school-aged children. “The Free Tennis Lesson is a fantastic example of the Connecticut Open being more than a tennis tournament. Encouraging children to learn and grow through the sport of tennis is a cause close to my heart and there was nothing better than seeing the smiles on their faces today.”
For more information about the Connecticut Open, to become a volunteer and to purchase tickets visit www.ctopen.org