Connecticut Open to kick off with party for Yale community

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American tennis star Madison Keys takes a selfie with a fan at last year's tournament.

New Haven’s annual tennis tournament always ends with cheers and celebration. This year, the competition will begin with them as well.

For the first time, the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies and Yale University will hold an opening night ceremony. The event will take place on Monday, Aug. 22 in the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale on Derby Avenue. The evening will begin with a courtside party for Yale community members followed by the Opening Night Ceremony and two main-draw matches from the women’s singles field.

“We are so proud to sponsor the Connecticut Open’s opening night ceremony,” said Yale President Peter Salovey. “The tournament is one of my favorite weeks of the year, and all of us at Yale are looking forward to kicking off the festivities with an evening that will bring our university, the local community, and a world-class international sporting event together in a new and exciting way.”

Salovey, Provost Benjamin Polak, and other university leaders will be in attendance, along with city dignitaries and other local celebrities. The evening will showcase the diversity and talents of the Yale community and the university’s relationship with New Haven, the region, and the world.

Beginning when gates open at 5 p.m., Yale student musical groups — including The Spizzwinks (?), The Citations, and others — will perform on the bandstand adjacent to the tournament food court.

The opening ceremonies will kick off at 6:45 p.m. with a procession featuring the tournament players as well as Yale undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from the players’ home countries, bearing their national flags. The evening will include a performance of the U.S. national anthem by Yale undergraduate Emma Hathaway ’17; remarks by Salovey and others; and a ceremonial coin toss featuring special Yale guests.

All Yale alumni, faculty, staff, and students who attend the tournament’s opening night session are invited to join a courtside party in the “Bulldog Club” overlooking stadium court. There will be food and soft drinks and a chance to mingle before and during the matches. Yale giveaways and special contests open to the Yale community will round out the evening.

Special discounts for Yale community

Yale community members can take advantage of a buy one/get one free offer for the Aug. 22 ceremony and matches. Tickets are $32.

Yale staff, faculty, and students will also receive a 25% discount on adult individual session tickets throughout the entire tournament, including both of the Men’s Legends matches (sessions 9 and 11) and the finals on Saturday, August 27.

Because the university is a sponsor of the tournament, Yale community members can also receive up to two complimentary tickets for 9 of the 12 sessions of the tournament, while supplies last.  Complimentary tickets are available from Sunday, Aug. 23 through the day session semifinals on Friday, Aug. 27 (Sessions 1-8, 10).  If complimentary tickets are no longer available for your session(s) of choice, a 25% discount is available off the price of all adult individual session tickets. 

To purchase tickets online, visit www.ctopen.org/tickets and enter promotional code CO16YALE. To purchase by phone, call 855-464-8366 and reference Yale University offer.

The 2016 Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies

The Connecticut Open, taking place Aug. 19-27 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale, offers fans a week-long festival of food, music, activities, and world-class women’s tennis. This year’s competitors will  include Americans Madison Keys, who is a newly minted top 10-ranked star, and Sloane Stephens; defending champion Petra Kvitova; four-time champion Caroline Wozniacki; and other top WTA players.

For the third year, the Men’s Legend event returns, this year featuring top-ranked male American tennis players Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, James Blake, and Mardy Fish. The four will compete in an all-new event format consisting of a total of three matches.  On Thursday, Aug. 25 (Session 9) McEnroe will play Blake, and on Friday, Aug. 26 (Session 11), Agassi will battle Fish, with the winners of each matchup competing in a final on Friday night.

For more information, visit the Connecticut Open website.

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