Petra, Porsche, and a party for Yalies: Guide to the 2017 Connecticut Open

Tennis player Petra Kvitova in mid-swing
The “who’s who” of players entering this year’s Connecticut Open includes Petra Kvitova (pictured here) Dominika Cibulkova, Genie Bouchard, Kiki Mladenovic, Agnieszka Radwanska, Sloane Stephens, and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

When three-time champion Petra Kvitova returns to the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale for this year’s Connecticut Open (Aug. 18 to 26), she will be joined in the tournament draw by a “who’s who” of players from around the globe. And the drama playing out in the stadium will be matched by an array of off-court activities, a number of them reserved exclusively for members of the Yale community, who can also take advantage of special ticket discounts.

Joining Kvitova at the tournament will be American Sloane Stephens, Canadian Genie Bouchard, and the defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, the tournament’s director, Anne Worcester, announced July 17.

This year’s Connecticut Open will feature a new automotive sponsor — Porsche — and the return of the popular PowerShares Series men’s competition, this year headlined by local favorite James Blake along with Michael Chang, John McEnroe, and defending champion Mark Philippoussis. Porsche’s involvement will extend to player transportation (expect to see an uptick of Cayennes and Panameras around the streets of New Haven); a food festival at the Omni on Aug. 20, playfully named “Porsche presents Game. Set. Munch”; and an opportunity for one lucky member of the Yale community to visit the Porsche Experience Center and try out the latest models under the tutelage of a Porsche driving coach.

The Porsche Experience Center prize will be awarded in one of several raffle drawings at a reception for Yale’s faculty, staff, students, and alumni hosted by President Peter Salovey during the tournament’s Opening Night Presented by Yale, on Monday, Aug. 21. The on- and off-court lineup will feature a flag ceremony with tournament players and Yale scholars, a special guest appearance by sports legend Martina Navratilova, and musical entertainment by Yale performing groups The Citations, The Spizzwinks, and Whim ’n Rhythm. Handsome Dan XVIII will be on the grounds throughout the evening to meet his fellow Yalies. Prior to the night session’s second match (an exhibition featuring Navratilova, former men’s no. 1 player Mats Wilander, and members of the Yale tennis teams), the Yale mascot will head onto the court for the ceremonial coin toss, accompanied by the winner of another raffle at the Yale reception.

The crowd at last year's reception.
A highlight of opening night (Aug. 21) is the reception for Yale faculty, staff, students, and alumni hosted by President Peter Salovey.

The Yale opening night festivities are a perfect way to ring in the new academic year,” said Salovey, who described the event as “almost like another Founders Day — a chance for faculty, staff, students, and alumni to come together and celebrate our diverse and talented university community.”

The Aug. 21 reception hosted by Salovey will be held in the courtside club overlooking the stadium and is open to all Yale faculty, staff, students, alumni, and their guests who purchase tickets for the Connecticut Open evening matches (tournament session 3). Gates open at 5 p.m., with entertainment beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the reception opening at 6 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now, and Yale affiliates can benefit from discounts and special offers for all sessions of the tournament. To request a pair of complimentary tickets in a special section reserved for members of the Yale family, use the code CO17YALE at the Connecticut Open website. Complimentary tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and can be used for any single session of the tournament except Thursday and Friday nights (sessions 9 and 11). Once the pool of complimentary tickets for Monday night has been exhausted — or if you wish to purchase extra seats in addition to your free pair of tickets — the same offer code qualifies to “buy one, get one free” on all gold- and silver-level tickets for opening night. The code CO17YALE may also be used for a 25% discount on any ticket priced at either the gold or silver level for the Thursday and Friday night sessions.

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