Yale ‘street fair’ to highlight tennis tournament’s opening night

Daria Gavrilova of Australia, the 2017 Connecticut Open champion, posing withy her trophy.
Daria Gavrilova of Australia, the 2017 Connecticut Open champion, will return to New Haven for this year’s event August 17-25. Photograph courtesy of the Connecticut Open.

Summer has just begun, but planning is already well under way for a late-August event that has become a highlight of the season for the Yale and New Haven communities.

At this year’s Connecticut Open (Aug. 17-25), world’s no. 8 and three-time former champion Petra Kvitova will be joined in the competition by 2017 champion Daria Gavrilova of Australia and the German star Julia Goerges, ranked no. 13, tournament director Anne Worcester announced last week.

The 2018 edition of the Connecticut Open also features a new format for the Opening Night Presented by Yale, now in its third year. The opening festivities, scheduled for the evening of Monday, Aug. 20, will include a Yale “street fair” taking place throughout the tournament grounds. When gates open to ticket holders at 5 p.m., members of the campus community and the wider public will find an array of interactive stations showcasing Yale’s excellence in the arts, sciences, athletics, and beyond, with contests, raffles, giveaways, and more. Many of the activities — including a musical instrument “petting zoo” sponsored by the Music in Schools Initiative and a “Have Bones, Will Travel” exhibit led by School of Nursing Professor Linda Honan — will offer fun for families and children of all ages.

The first 1,000 people to come through the turnstiles on opening night will receive a gift with a “passport to Yale” enclosed; guests who have their passport stamped at all of the street fair stations that evening can enter to win one of several Yale-themed grand prizes. Roving singers and other musical performances, a photo booth with familiar faces from campus, and the third annual opening ceremony — highlighted by a procession of tournament players and Yale student and scholar flag bearers — will round out Yale’s programming for the evening. After the flag ceremony concludes at 7 p.m., the night’s tennis will begin with a featured main draw women’s singles match.

Following on the success of last year’s opening night appearance by iconic athlete Martina Navratilova, the second half of the Monday night session will be headlined by another legend of women’s tennis, soon to be announced, who will compete in a mixed doubles exhibition alongside Yale athletes and other guest players.

Yale student Leehi Yona carries the Canadian flag during the 2017 Opening Night Presented by Yale at the CT Open.
Leehi Yona, a student at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, carries the Canadian flag during the 2017 Opening Night Presented by Yale. With her are Canadian tennis star Genie Bouchard and local children from the New HYTEs tennis and education program. (Photoh courtesy of the Office of International Students & Scholars)

Current faculty and staff members, students, and postdocs will soon receive an email about the chance to win free tickets to Opening Night Presented by Yale via on online raffle. Other opening night amenities for members of the campus community include expanded free shuttle service between central campus and the tennis stadium; dedicated prize giveaways including seat upgrades and the chance to appear on court for the ceremonial coin toss before the second match; and $10 tournament food court vouchers for the first 500 members of the campus community to come through the gates. (Be sure to bring your Yale ID card to access these offerings.)

This year’s Connecticut Open also features new and enhanced ticket deals for members of the university community, who can purchase tickets at significantly reduced prices for all sessions, including the men’s legends nights and the WTA singles and doubles finals on Saturday, Aug. 25. Bronze-level seats are $10 each, silver-level seats are $20, and gold-level seats are $40 while supplies last. (The non-Yale price for gold-level box seats ranges from $60 to $110.) To receive these special rates, use the code CO18YALE when ordering from the tournament box office. In addition, the tournament is offering a 25% Yale community discount on premium platinum-level seats; to purchase platinum tickets, call the ticket office at 855-464-8366.

A complete schedule of events for the weeklong tournament — including a new Beer Fest at the Connecticut Open on Aug. 25 and the men’s legends matches on Aug. 23 and 24 — is posted on the Connecticut Open’s website.

Media Contact

Alison Coleman: alison.coleman@yale.edu,