Past champions and promising Americans confirm to appear in New Haven

The WTA will return to New Haven for the Connecticut Open this fall. The WTA premier event is the last event before the US Open, and many top players will head to the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center for their last preparation for the year's final grand slam. Two past champions and a group of American talents have already confirmed to compete on the outdoor hard courts of Yale University.

Kvitova and Wozniacki total seven titles at the Connecticut Open

Petra Kvitova will return to New Haven as the defending champion. The Czech lefty has lacked her usual form thus far in 2016, but she is known for stepping her tennis up during the second half of the season. Kvitova has reached the final the last four years in New Haven but has just managed to lift the trophy three times. Her dominance in Connecticut over the past four years and her success on faster surfaces ultimately considers Kvitova as a clear favorite to win the title.

Caroline Wozniacki is no stranger to the hard courts of Yale University. She won the championship four consecutive years, spanning from 2008-2011. The Dane loves the hard courts of America, especially considering she has reached her only two grand slam finals at the US Open. Wozniacki struggled with a back injury which forced her to miss the 2016 French Open, but her previous success and style of tennis will be working in her favor when she hits the Connecticut Open courts this August.

Wozniacki in tennis action in New Haven against Riske. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Wozniacki in tennis action in New Haven against Riske. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Three successful Americans confirm to appear in New Haven

Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, and Shelby Rogers announced they would head to the Connecticut Open as their final preparation for the US Open. Stephens clinched her first WTA title last year during the American hard court swing before capturing three additional titles in 2016. Stephens has the game and mindset to perform and make wins happen, but it will depend on how bad she wants it. The world number 20 will make the trip to Connecticut for her first time since 2013, where she made the quarterfinals.

Keys in 2015 Connecticut Open action against Kvitova. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Keys in 2015 Connecticut Open action against Kvitova. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Keys has made one Connecticut Open appearance in the past. Her only showing was last year when she fell in the second round to the eventual champion. The American ended her hard-court swing in the US with a bang by reaching the second week of the US Open. The 21-year-old's penetrating ground strokes will suit the courts, and not to mention there will be a loving crowd to support her.

Rogers is an accomplished clay-court player. The Charleston-native backed that statement up with a run to the quarterfinals at this year's Roland Garros. But before she arrived in Paris this year, her best result at a major had been at the US Open last year when she reached the third round. During her US Open warmup events in the past, she has wins over Eugenie Bouchard and Alizé Cornet. But time will tell as the world will see how well she can transition from the red clay to the faster surfaces this year.

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