Most Memorable NHO Moments: Part 2

by Nicholas McCarvel

With its storied past, we continue to look back at the most memorable moments of the New Haven Open at Yale today with two more from 2004, when a teenager and a legend made waves in Connecticut for very different reasons.

MORE: NHO Memories, Part One | Players to Watch at the NHO

‘Maria Mania’ for Sharapova, 2004:
In February of 2004 it didn’t seem outrageous for 17-year-old Maria Sharapova, then ranked outside the top 25, to commit to a media day and children’s clinic for the New Haven Open following Wimbledon. But we all know what happened that year at The Championships, where Sharapova shocked Serena Williams in the final and became an overnight global sensation. Holding true to her word, Maria showed up just days after her maiden Slam title to conduct the clinic and interviews in a scene more likely witnessed on the celebrity streets of Hollywood, as press and paparazzi all showed up to get a piece of tennis’ new glamour girl.

Martina Navratilova Makes a Return… in Doubles, 2004:
She had walked away from singles competition some 10 years before, but Martina Navratilova could still hang with – and beat – the best in the game. The Hall of Famer did just that at the New Haven Open in 2004, pairing with doubles specialist Katarina Srebotnik as the two made their way to the quarterfinals. It was there that the 43-year-old and her partner would falter, but not with an enthusiastic crowd at the Connecticut Tennis Center filling the stadium with thumping chants of “Martina! Martina!” Hopefully we will hear the same this year, when another “Martina” in the Hall of Fame makes a comeback on the doubles court – Martina Hingis!

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