Summer tennis sneak peek: Michael Chang to compete at Connecticut Open

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It may be cold outside, but the 2017 Connecticut Open tennis tournament is already heating up, announcing that Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Michael Chang will compete in this year’s PowerShares Men’s Legends event.

Chang and fellow Tennis Hall of Fame honoree John McEnroe will face Fairfield’s James Blake and defending champion Mark Philippoussis at the 2017 Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, to be held Aug. 18-26, at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale.

The Connecticut Open is a women’s-only tournament of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). The event also features WTA qualifying, singles, and doubles competitions, and the Men’s Legends program. The latter, which began three years ago, is an official part of the PowerShares Series, the circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30.

While McEnroe, Blake, and Philippoussis are returning to New Haven for the match-up, Chang is making his New Haven debut in the PowerShares Series. On Thursday, Aug. 24, following the women’s quarterfinal, Chang will play Blake, and on Friday, Aug. 25, following the semifinal, McEnroe will take on Philippoussis, with the winners of each matchup competing in a final on Friday night. The men’s matches will be one set each.

The youngest Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour player to win a Grand Slam Singles Title, Chang returns to New Haven for the first time since 1995. Chang, who earned a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the world, won the 1989 French Open crown at 17 years old and won 34 singles titles on the ATP World Tour. Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2008, Chang is the current coach of World No. 5 Kei Nishikori.

“I have fond memories playing in the City of New Haven, and I look forward to coming back and participating in the PowerShares Series at the Connecticut Open,” said Chang. “The Connecticut Tennis Center is a great venue with tremendous fans, and it will be fun to compete against Fairfield native James Blake. Hopefully I can make the final and get a chance against McEnroe or Philippoussis and win the event.

“The Hall of Famers continue to flock to New Haven, as Michael Chang joins John McEnroe this year following 2017 Hall of Fame inductee Andy Roddick’s appearance in last year’s event,” said tournament director Anne Worcestrer. “We’re extremely happy with this year’s PowerShares Series lineup and look forward to another great event in New Haven.”

Fans can get an early start on summer by purchasing a weeklong or multiple session package to the 2017 Connecticut Open. Ticket options include:

  • After Hours (Aug. 21-26) — Every evening session, including all Legends matches, and Saturday afternoon (WTA finals)
  • Final 4 (Aug. 24-26) — Thursday evening (quarterfinal/Legends), Friday day and evening (WTA semifinals/legends), and Saturday (WTA finals)
  • Pick 4 (Aug. 20-24) — Choice of four early round sessions including Thursday evening (WTA Quarterfinal/Legends)

Weeklong box seats are also available or those who want to attend all 14 sessions of women’s tennis, plus both Legends matches. Box seat purchasers enjoy significant savings and a host of benefits.

Daily tickets for the tournament will be on sale starting March 20.

For more information about the 2017 Connecticut Open, including multi-session packages, weeklong box seats, sponsorship packages, hospitality and becoming a volunteer, visit the tournament website or call 203-776-7331.

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Bruno A. Baggetta: bruno@marketnhv.com,