WTA New Haven: Americans Keys and Stephens, defending champion Kvitova returning

The Connecticut Open has announced Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens and defending champion Petra Kvitova as the first three players entered into this year's tournament.

Tournament director Anne Worcester announced the news, saying that the tournament was “thrilled” to welcome the trio back.

All three will be returning to the tournament which starts on the week beginning August 22nd, the week before the US Open.

Keys and Stephens looking to improve on past results

Keys and Stephens are two of the most high-profile young American stars on the WTA Tour, and will certainly be eyeing the title in New Haven this summer.

Keys has had a mixed year so far and will be looking to prepare well for the defense of 4th round points at the US Open. The American will also be hoping to improve on her only previous appearances in New Haven last year, where she lost in the second round to Kvitova after beating Elina Svitolina in the first round.

Stephens has had a strange year so far, winning three tournaments but failing to win a match at her other tournaments, though she will be one of the favorites for the title this year. She will be making her fifth appearance in New Haven, with her best result coming in 2013, reaching the quarterfinals.

Stephens in action at the Miami Open this season (Getty/Clive Brunskill)
Stephens in action at the Miami Open this season (Getty/Clive Brunskill)

Kvitova looking to make history

Kvitova has won the title three times in the past, including the past two years, and could make history this year.

If she wins the title, she will become only the third person, after Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki, to win four titles in New Haven.

Kvitova defeated good friend Lucie Safarova in the final last year and Magdalena Rybarikova in the 2014 final. She beat Maria Kirilenko to win her first title at New Haven in 2012, and also lost to Simona Halep in the 2013 final. She will certainly be a danger again this year.