Madison Keys Reaches Second Week at Wimbledon

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 04:  Madison Keys of the United States celebrates in her Ladies’ Singles third Round match against Tatjana Maria of Germany  during day six of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 4, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Connecticut Open commit and Rising Star Madison Keys has advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time in her young career, following a career-best semifinal performance at the Australian Open earlier this season. The World No. 21 has been extremely impressive, leading the field with 42 aces at the tournament. Let’s take a look at her road thus far at The All England Club.

First Round: Stefanie Voegele, 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-4

Keys needed three sets and an extra day to defeat Stefanie Voegele 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-4. Knotted at 2-2 in the third set, the match was suspended due to darkness and resumed the following morning. The American seized the upper-hand in the third set, winning four of the next six games en route to victory.

Second Round: Elizaveta Kulichkova, 6-4, 7-6(3)

The World No. 21 followed her opening round win with an impressive victory against Kulichkova, closing out the 19-year-old Russian in straight sets. The win marked Keys’ third consecutive trip to the third round at Wimbledon.

Third Round: Tatjana Maria, 6-4, 6-4

German Tatjana Maria was the next test for Keys, and the young American produced an astounding effort to advance. Keys defeated Maria 6-4, 6-4 to secure a berth into the second weekend where she will meet Olga Govortsova in a fourth round tilt.

Fourth Round: Olga Govortsova, 6:30 a.m. ET

Kvitova, Keys and Stephens Ease Into Round Three at Wimbledon

during day four of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 2, 2015 in London, England.

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty

Connecticut Open commits Petra Kvitova, Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens have advanced to the third round at Wimbledon, posting impressive victories during the first week at the All England Club.

Kvitova has made quick work of her opponents, dropping only two games in the first two rounds. The Czech defeated Kiki Bertens 6-0, 6-1 in the first round followed by a 6-2, 6-0 triumph against Karumi Nara.

After dropping the first set against Stefanie Voegele, Madison Keys rebounded to secure the next two and a second-round berth. The American went on to bounce Elizaveta Kulichkova 6-4, 7-6(3) en route to the third round.

Stephens finds herself in Round 3 following two straight-set victories. The 22-year-old toppled Barbara Zahlavova-Strycova 6-4, 6-2 before defeating fellow American Lauren Davis 6-4, 6-4.

Kvitova, Makarova, Keys and Stephens Advance to Second Round at Wimbledon

during day one of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 29, 2015 in London, England.

Photo by: Julian Finney/Getty Images Sport

Defending Wimbledon and Connecticut Open Champion Petra Kvitova, Ekaterina Makarova and Americans Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys have advanced to the second round at the All England Club.

Kvitova commenced her title defense in blazing fashion, defeating Kiki Bertens 6-1, 6-0 in 35 minutes. Dating back to last year’s championship run, the Czech has dropped two or fewer games in deciding sets in six of her last eight matches.

Makarova is also off to an impressive start at Wimbledon, securing a straight-set triumph over Sachia Vickery 6-2, 6-4 to book a second-round berth.

American Sloane Stephens also picked up a straight-set victory, bouncing Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova 6-4, 6-2 en route to a second-round appearance.

Madison Keys was knotted with Stefanie Voegele 2-2 in the third set before play was suspended on Tuesday due to darkness. The American finished the job on Wednesday, earning a 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 victory against Stefanie Voegele.

5 Minutes With… Petra Kvitova

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Defending Wimbledon and Connecticut Open Champion Petra Kvitova talked with us ahead of her title defense at The All England Club to discuss coming back to New Haven, her favorite memory on Tour and what’s on her music playlist!

Connecticut Open: You’re a two-time Champion at the Connecticut Open and have advanced to three straight finals. Can you talk about your comfort-level with the tournament and what attributes to your success here?

Petra Kvitova: I feel at home there, very calm. I like the town, it has a great, historic university and so there a lot of young people around. The venue for the Connecticut Open is really nice too, plus I love their fast courts!

CO: This is your fifth time playing in the Connecticut Open. Do you have any go-to places to visit in the city when you’re not on the court?

PK: Yes, there is a sushi restaurant (Miso) near to where we stay that I make sure I always go back to. For breakfast there’s a lovely organic restaurant called Claire’s which is another one of my favourites to visit.

CO: We asked last year about your favorite memory on Tour and you mentioned it was winning Wimbledon in 2011. This question came a few weeks before winning your second Wimbledon title last year. Could you talk about your success at the All England Club?

PK: Winning the second Wimbledon title I enjoyed more than my first time. I felt every moment, I really knew what was happening. But, I think it was tougher to win than the first time too.

CO: Could you walk us through your practice schedule? Do you have a routine that you follow or does it fluctuate?

PK: Normally if I am not on the tournament I am practicing about hour and half in the morning and the same in the afternoon. I will also always do some fitness which takes about hour. I do this routine 6 days a week.

CO: Last year we asked if you ever binge-watch (Video: 1:58), and your response was “no!” Has this changed?

PK: No! I am still the same.

CO: What are some of your favorite songs right now? Tell us the Petra Kvitova playlist!

PK: I like some new songs in the radio.. Some of my favourite singers are Ed Sheeran, Pink and Geronimo

CO: You’re known on Tour for your great serve. If you could take any player’s shot, past or present, and use it for your own, what would it be and why?

PK: I have been asked this question many times before, but I am always happy to say that I am happy with all my shots!

First thing that comes to mind:

Facebook or Twitter? Facebook

Cats or dogs? Dogs

Going to the movies or Netflix? Movies

Water or Sports Drink? Water

CO: Thanks, Petra! See you in New Haven!

Charity Spotlight: New HYTEs

New HYTEs Executive Director Mavi Sanchez has great passion for tennis and giving back to the community, so partnering with the Connecticut Open for the “50/50 Project” was a no-brainer.

“When I was approached about the 50/50 Project, I thought it was just an incredible initiative,” said Sanchez. “It allows us to reach out to the community and do more outreach by inviting the community to the premiere sports event in the city. It also allows families that are apart of New HYTEs to feel involved in the tournament. It’s just an incredible win-win for New HYTEs.”

In an ongoing effort to positively impact communities throughout the state, the Connecticut Open launched the “50/50 Project,” a charitable fundraising program that enables non-profit organizations to sell tickets for the event as a fundraising vehicle. Starting June 22, non-profits will be able to sell tickets to the Connecticut Open and receive 50 percent of the total net profit from the sale. The tournament is working with Governor Dannel Malloy to encourage maximum participation in the program statewide.

With programs centered on life skills curriculum and academics, as well as the health benefits of an active lifestyle, New HYTEs seeks to positively affect the future for children across Greater New Haven. When Sanchez was first approached regarding the 50/50 Project, she knew it was a program that correlates with the stance of her organization.

“Our flagship program runs year-round with 40 children between the ages of six and 12,” said Sanchez. “Our goal is to help our kids through their high school education, find a way give them a path to college and be a support system to them while in college and to see they graduate.”

Sanchez also discussed added benefits of the “50/50 Project” to her organization, as participation in the program helps to build a larger network in New Haven and surrounding communities.

“For us it creates another vehicle to introduce ourselves to others in the community and also to reach out to different vendors and companies,” said Sanchez. We’re able to target local New Haven and those visiting the city to have them purchase tickets through New Hytes and see how their participation will have a greater impact with kids in the city.”

 

Connecticut Open Commits Petra Kvitova and Madison Keys Advance to Second Round at French Open

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 26:  Madison Keys of the United States returns a shot during her women's singles match against Varvara Lepchenko of the United States on day three of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros on May 26, 2015 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Two-time and defending Connecticut Open Champion Petra Kvitova and Madison Keys have advanced to the second round of the 2015 French Open, adding to their successful 2015 clay campaigns.

Kvitova secured a three-set win over New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, moving into the second round at Roland Garros for the fifth consecutive year.  The World No. 4 continues to build upon her solid clay season. Kvitova hoisted the trophy early this month at the Mutua Madrid Open, bouncing World No. 1 Serena Williams in the semifinals before defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova in the finals. The Czech will make her seventh trip to Roland Garros, advancing to the semifinals in 2011.

Keys dispatched fellow-American Varvara Lepchenko in straight sets, 7-6(3), 6-3, en route to a second-round berth, the second of her young career. The World No. 17 is also having a stellar 2015 on the clay surface, boasting a runner-up finish at the Family Circle Cup back in April. Keys appears in just her third French Open, but the hard-hitting American is capable of making plenty of noise at the second Grand Slam of the year.

For more information about the 2015 Connecticut Open ticket packages, including weeklong box seats, sponsorship packages, hospitality and becoming a volunteer, visit www.ctopen.org or call 1-855-464-8366.

The Best Moments of the 2014 Connecticut Open

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From world-class tennis to activities around the grounds, the 2014 Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies was one to remember. Here, we look back at the moments that won’t soon be forgotten.

Kvitova Wins Again
Second seed and World No. 4 Petra Kvitova did not drop a set at the 2014 Connecticut Open, rolling to her second title in the past three years in New Haven. The Czech was especially dominant in deciding sets, defeating her second round through semifinals opponents 6-1 in the second frame. The two-time Wimbledon Champion now holds a 12-2 overall record at the Connecticut Open and becomes only the third player to win multiple titles in New Haven, along with four-time winners Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki.

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Guys Night Out
The men took center stage on Wednesday and Thursday night, as Fairfield native and two-time Connecticut Open Champion James Blake invited former World No. 1’s Jim Courier and Andy Roddick to New Haven for the Men’s Legends Event. Some booming forehands and plenty of laughs were on display on Stadium Court, as Blake took on Courier on Wednesday followed by a tilt against longtime friend Roddick on Thursday.

CONNECTICUT OPEN - DAY 6 WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 20, 2014 SAMANTHA STOSUR vs. EUGENIE BOUCHARD

A Word from our Sponsors
With 60 sponsors, half of which are headquartered in Connecticut and 20 newly-added partnerships for this year, sponsorship was surely on the rise at the 2014 Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies. The list of new sponsors based in Connecticut was led by three Fortune 500 companies; United Technologies (Lead sponsor, Hartford), Frontier Communications (Platinum, Stamford), and Starwood Hotels & Resorts (Hospitality sponsor, Stamford). Long-time Cornerstone sponsors Yale University, Yale New Haven Hospital, Aetna, American Express and First Niagara continued their strong commitment to the tournament. For more info about Connecticut Open Sponsorships, click HERE.

CONNECTICUT OPEN - DAY 5 TUESDAY, AUGUST 19, 2014 GROUNDS

Enjoying the Scenery
Fans looking for a break in the action could find plenty of options in the plaza, featuring several eateries, live-music and sponsor booths. Patrons flocked to Aaron May’s Lobster Shack for a Connecticut-style lobster roll, dined on Venezuelan flair at Valencia Luncheria, ordered baked potatoes with all the trimmings at Spuds Your Way, and dunked a classic-style grilled cheese in heirloom tomato gazpacho at Caseus Cheese Truck. Combined with toe-tapping musical performances on the Connecticut stage and fun-filled activities at many sponsor booths, the 2014 Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies provided a truly world-class atmosphere in a small-town setting.

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Social Splash
From Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep dumping ice cold water on tournament director Anne Worcester for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to players answering a series questions about the new words added to the online version of the Oxford Dictionary, social media videos generated more than 115,000 views, and interaction with fans was at an all-time high. Check out all our videos HERE.

CONNECTICUT OPEN - DAY 3 SUNDAY, AUGUST 17, 2014 WTA ALL ACCESS HOUR

Something for Everyone
Tournament attendance was up this year for the first time since 2005 with more than 47,140 fans pouring through the gates. In addition to world-class tennis, the event featured plenty of off-court activities and philanthropic efforts around the grounds, such as the star-spangled Military Appreciation Night presented by United Technologies; the Closer to Free Spin Bike Ride which generated $25,000 for Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven; and the Emirates Returns Program which capped off summer-long inner city youth tennis and education programs.

See you all August 21-29, 2015!

Czech Mate: Kvitova Wins Second Connecticut Open Title

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Photo by Billie Weiss/Connecticut Open

Petra Kvitova’s path to her second title at the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies was much like her first: It was dominant.

The Czech world No. 4 did not relinquish a set en route to the championship, defeating Magdalena Rybarikova 6-4, 6-2 on Saturday to cap off another impressive week in New Haven and win her second Connecticut Open title in the last three years.

“I’m glad for that, for sure,” said Kvitova in regards to not dropping a set. “Last year I play a lot of three-setters, not only here. I’m just glad that I did it without dropping any sets. I’m just very impressed about that, of course.”

MORE: Final Singles Draw | Save the Date: August 21-29, 2015

The two-time Wimbledon Champion becomes the third player to win multiple titles in New Haven, along with four-time victors Venus Williams (1999-2002) and Caroline Wozniacki (2008-2011).

Kvitova was broken twice in the first set, but returned the favor against the Slovak three times to edge Rybarikova in the first. Rybarikova kept the set respectable, closing in at 5-4 after saving two set points at 2-5 down and breaking Kvitova. But Kvitova was able to break the Slovak back for the set, winning it 6-4.

In the second set Kvitova put her foot on the gas, as she had for much of the week, playing all-business tennis and winning it 6-2, closing out the match in 69 minutes. Kvitova now moves her record here to 12-2 overall. She secures her No. 4 world ranking moving into the US Open, where she has an outside shot at claiming the world’s No. 1 ranking should she win the event (pending other players’ results, as well).

“I know last two years I had a great run here, but I didn’t have great results in US Open, said Kvitova. “Still, I mean, I hopefully can make it a little bit better.”

Rybarikova was the lowest-ranked finalist in New Haven history, the world No. 68 now bouncing inside the Top 50. She has been as high as No. 31 in the world.

For me it’s great, I’m very happy, said Rybarikova about her week. “I hope I’m going to have some more confidence after this.”

Twice as Nice: Klepac, Soler-Espinosa Win Doubles Title

Doubles Winners

Photo by Billie Weiss/Connecticut Open

Andreja Klepac and Silvia Soler-Espinosa defeated Marina Erakovic and Arantxa Parra-Santonja 7-5, 4-6, 10-7 on Saturday to claim the 2014 Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies doubles Title.

MORE: Doubles Draw | Doubles Final Preview

It was a win that was twice as nice for Klepac/Soler-Espinosa: they were playing together for just the second time in their careers having debuted as a pair a week ago in Cincinnati.

“For me, it was so exciting the win the first title, said Soler-Espinosa. “It was the third final for me this year: one in singles, one doubles. To win this tournament, you know, this is an amazing tournament. With her, we had such a great week, very good week together. So, I’m so happy.”

Down 5-3 in the first set, Klepac/Soler-Espinosa rattled off four straight games to claim the first frame 7-5. In the second set, Erakovic/Parra-Santonja would battle back. Serving at 5-4, but down 0-30, the duo would win the next four points to force a match tie-break.

The tie-break provided plenty of intrigue, as Klepac and Soler-Espinosa found themselves down 5-7 at the second change of ends. However, they would go on to win the next five points, securing the title on a decisive error from Erakovic. It was the first WTA crown of any kind for Soler-Espinosa and the 7th of Klepac’s career (all at the ITF level).

“Yeah, these matches you never know,” said Klepac. “In tiebreak you can play two, three balls good, then the other players play five balls good. But you still need to be all the time focused and fight for every ball.”

Photo: This Is What They Play for Today

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The singles final of the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies will begin at 3pm today on Stadium Court. What are they playing for? This trophy among other things. The winner will take home $120,000USD as well as 470 WTA ranking points. Petra Kvitova is slated to stay at No. 4 in the world regardless of her result while Magdalena Rybarikova – the lowest-ranked finalist ever here in New Haven at No. 68 – will climb back into the Top 50 with a loss and could go into the Top 40 with a win (career high: No. 31).

MORE: Previewing the Final | Order of Play | Tickets

These two are old friends: They met playing in the final of an ITF event in 2007 in Prague when they were both teenagers. “From that time we are friends, and we are pretty close friends,” Kvitova said in press Friday night. “It’s going to be difficult. It’s a long time [since] we played each other in a match. We practice [together] sometimes, but not really in the past few months.”

The final will be televised in the U.S. on ESPN2 and livestreamed internationally (regional blockouts depending) on TennisTV.com. (Above photo by Billie Weiss/Connecticut Open)

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