Semifinals Set; Kvitova, Wozniacki to Meet in Blockbuster

NEW HAVEN, CT: Lesia Tsurenko plays Karolina Pliskova on stadium court during the 2015 Connecticut Open at the Yale University Tennis Center on Thursday, August 27, 2015 in New Haven, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Connecticut Open)

Photo by Jared Wickerham/Connecticut Open

Wozniacki (DEN) def. Garcia (FRA) 6-3, 6-0

Four-time Champion Caroline Woznicki made quick work of Caroline Garcia, bouncing the Frenchwoman 6-3, 6-0 in the first match of the evening session. The Dane sets a blockbuster clash with defending champion Petra Kvitova in the semifinals.

Kvitova (CZE) def. Radwanska (POL) 7-5, 6-4

Defending Champion Petra Kvitova defeated Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5, 6-4, advancing to the semifinals at the Connecticut Open. The Czech awaits the winner of four-time champ Caroline Wozniacki and Caroline Garcia, set to begin the evening session.

Safarova (CZE) def. Cibulkova (SVK) 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-5

Lucie Safarova bounced Dominika Cibulkova 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-5 in a three-set thriller on Stadium Court. Three-set matches are nothing new for the Slovak, who advanced to the quarterfinals via two three-set tilts. However, she could not overcome the Czech, who battled back from a one-set deficit to advance. Safarova will face lucky loser Lesia Tsurenko in the semifinals.

Tsurenko (UKR) def. Pliskova (CZE) 6-2, 6-2

Lucky Loser Lesia Tsurenko became the first semifinalist at the 2015 Connecticut Open, defeating No. 5 seed Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 6-2 in the first match of the afternoon session. Tsurenko, granted an entry into the main draw following the withdrawal of Simona Halep, has made the most of her good fortune in New Haven, bouncing Barbora Strycova in the second round before advancing past Pliskova. The Ukrainian will face either Lucie Safarova or Dominika Cibulkova in the semifinals.

What’s on Tap: The Boys Are Back in New Haven

August 21, 2014, New Haven, CT: James Blake and Andy Roddick ride spin bikes for Yale New Haven Health during the Men's Legends Event on day seven of the 2014 Connecticut Open at the Yale University Tennis Center in New Haven, Connecticut Thursday, August 21, 2014. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Connecticut Open)

Photo by Billie Weiss/Connecticut Open

Men’s tennis returns to New Haven on Thursday night, as two-time Connecticut Open Champion James Blake take on good-friend Andy Roddick in the Men’s Legends presented by PowerShares. Blake, a Fairfield native, will take on the former World No. 1 in the second match of the evening session. For more info about the Men’s Legends presented by PowerShares, click HERE.

The evening session begins with four-time Champion Caroline Wozniacki looking to book a semifinal appearance, as she begins to inch closer to a fifth title in New Haven. The Dane will have a strong test in Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, who has looked impressive in the tournament, defeating Timea Bacsinszky and 2014 finalist Magdalena Rybarikova.

The afternoon session begins at 1 p.m. with Lucky Loser Lesia Tsurenko taking on fifth-seeded Karolina Pliskova. Tsurenko advanced the quarterfinals following a win against Barbora Strycova, while Plishkova dismissed qualifiers Polona Hercog and Olga Savchuk.

Two Grand Slam finalists take Stadium Court for the second match of the day, as fourth-seeded Lucie Safarova takes on Dominika Cibulkova. Cibulkova continues to battle back from Achilles surgery, and her stamina has been tested in New Haven with two three-set matches. The Slovak faces a strong opponent in Lucie Safarova, arriving in the quarterfinals with wins over Daria Gavrilova and Irina-Camelia Begu.

Agnieszka Radwanska will face defending champion Petra Kvitova in the third and final match of the afternoon session. Kvitova advanced to the quarters with an impressive showing against rising star Madison Keys, while Radwanska has looked strong in New Haven, bouncing CoCo Vandeweghe and Alize Cornet.

In doubles action on the Grandstand, Hao-Ching Chang and Casey Dellacqua will face Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Johanna Larson, and Anabel Medina Garrigues and Arantxa Parra Santonja match-up against Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears.

For more information regarding schedules and order of play, click HERE.

Woz Wins Thriller, Defending Champ Kvitova Advances

NEW HAVEN, CT: Polona Hercog plays Karolina Pliskova on stadium court during the 2015 Connecticut Open at the Yale University Tennis Center on Monday, August 24, 2015 in New Haven, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Connecticut Open)

Photo by Jared Wickerham/Connecticut Open

Kvitova (CZE) def. Keys (USA) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2

Rising American Madison Keys got off to a blazing start, but two-time champion Petra Kvitova recovered for a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 win to book a spot in the quarterfinal. Keys’ serve was cooking, blasting four aces in the match, but Kvitova controlled the pace in the final sets to overcome the American, losing only three games over the final frames. Kvitova moves on to face Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals.

Wozniacki (DEN) def. Vinci (ITA) 6-4, 6-7(6), 7-6(6)

Four-time Champion Caroline Wozniacki won a thriller against Italian qualifier Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-7(6), 7-6(6), advancing the quarterfinals at the 2015 Connecticut Open. Following a 6-4 win in the first set, Vinci battled back to force even the score in the second set, using a fury of backhand slices to frustrate the Dane. A back-and-forth finale was eventually conquered by Wozniacki, who will face Caroline Garcia in the quarterfinals.

Radwanska (POL) def. Cornet (FRA) 6-4, 6-2

Agnieszka Radwanska marched into the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-2 defeat of Alize Cornet. The win marks for the first quarterfinal berth in New Haven for the Pole, where she will face either Madison Keys or Petra Kvitova. Keys and Kvitova will square off in the first match of the evening session.

Pliskova (CZE) def. Savchuk (UKR) 6-4, 6-1

Karolina Pliskova bounced qualifier Olga Savchuk 6-4, 6-1 in the opening match on Wednesday, advancing to the quarterfinals at the 2015 Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies. The Czech battled through a tough first set, but the World No. 8 was too much for Savchuk in the second, dropping only one game in the decider. Pliskova will face lucky loser Lesia Tsurenko in the quarterfinals.

In doubles action, Chia-Jung Chuang and Chen Liang defeated Evan Hrdinova and Nicole Melichar 1-6, 6-4, 10-6, while Julia Goerges and Lucie Hradecka knocked out Americans Lauren Davis and Alison Riske 6-3, 6-2.

What’s On Tap: Action-Packed Wednesday at Connecticut Open

NEW HAVEN, CT: Agnieszka Radwanska plays CoCo Vandeweghe on stadium court during the 2015 Connecticut Open at the Yale University Tennis Center on Monday, August 24, 2015 in New Haven, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Connecticut Open)

Photo by Jared Wickerham/Connecticut Open

An action-packed Wednesday is on tap at the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, beginning with World No. 8 Karolina Pliskova opening play at Noon against qualifier Olga Savchuk. Pliskova arrived in the second round following a win against Polona Hercog, while Savchuk was leading 4-0 in the third set over Olga Govortsova before the Belarusian retired.

World No. 15 Agnieszka Radwanska takes the court against Alize Cornet following the opening match. Radwanska was dominant in her opening-round tilt against American CoCo Vandeweghe, while Cornet rallied from a set-down to defeat Yulia Putintseva.

The last match of the afternoon session features World No. 4 and four-time Connecticut Open Champion Caroline Wozniacki against qualifier Roberta Vinci. Wozniacki made quick work of American Alison Riske on Tuesday but will face a crazy veteran in Vinci, who upset Genie Bouchard.

The evening session begins with a blockbuster, as defending Connecticut Open Champion matches wits with American Madison Keys. Keys, who is coached by Connecticut Open winner Lindsay Davenport, seeks to dethrone Kvitova after an impressive showing against Elina Svitolina. For more on this match-up, click HERE.

Americans Lauren Davis and Alison Riske team-up for the nightcap against Julia Goerges and Lucie Hradecka. The afternoon session also features doubles on the Grandstand, with Eva Hrdinova and Nicole Melichar taking on Chia-Jung Chuang and Chen Liang.

For full schedule information, click HERE.

#CTOpen15: The Triathlon Challenge

Put three world-class tennis players on a “triathlon” obstacle course sized for kids and what do you get? Some great entertainment. Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova met that challenge at the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies. Watch to see who emerged the winner.

Kvitova, Keys Showdown To Open Wednesday Evening Session

Keys_v_Kvitova

A blockbuster second-round match-up will commence the evening session on Wednesday, as two-time and defending Connecticut Open champion Petra Kvitova takes on WTA Rising Star and American Madison Keys. Kvitova makes her 2015 debut in New Haven following a bye into the second round, while Keys bounced Elina Svitolina 7-6(4), 4-2 (RET) in her opener.

Kvitova and Keys have split two decisions in their career, but the American has won the most recent, a Round-of-32 triumph at the Australian Open. However, Kvitova has been especially dominate in New Haven, rolling to the 2014 title in New Haven without dropping a set.

Kvitova has battled back from a bout of mononucleosis and continues to find her stride. The Czech has lost her last three matches but remains a tremendous threat whenever she steps on the court. The two-time Wimbledon Champion feels at home in New Haven, and she certainly will not relinquish the throne without a valiant effort.

Coached by six-time Connecticut Open finalist and 2005 victor Lindsay Davenport, Keys looks for her second impressive win of the week. Additionally, the 20-year-old also looks to mark her own legacy in New Haven. Defeating Petra Kvitova would be a major step.

Madison Keys: On the Rise

American Madison Keys is only 20, but she’s already a Grand Slam semifinalist and now under the direction of former world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport. Here, she discusses Davenport and the support she receives on the road–including at the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies

Wozniacki Rolls in Debut, Quarterfinal Tickets Punched

NEW HAVEN, CT: Caroline Wozniacki plays Alison Riske on stadium court during the 2015 Connecticut Open at the Yale University Tennis Center on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 in New Haven, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Connecticut Open)

Photo by Jared Wickerham/Connecticut Open

Wozniacki (DEN) def. Riske (USA) 6-0, 6-2

Four-time Connecticut Open Champion Caroline Wozniacki was sensational in her 2015 debut, bouncing American Alison Riske 6-0, 6-2 in 59 minutes. The Dane was dominant from the start, blanking the American in the second set. Wozniacki will take the court again on Wednesday against qualifier Roberta Vinci.

Safarova (CZE) def. Begu (ROU) 6-3, 6-4

No. 4 seed Lucie Safarova took down Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 6-4 in the final match of the night, advancing to the quarterfinals. The Czech faces a tough test in the quarterfinals, as 2014 Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkoba awaits.

Cibulkova (SVK) def. Mladenovic (FRA) 2-6, 7-6(1), 7-5

Dominika Cibulkova advanced through her second nail-biter of the tournament, bouncing back to defeat Kristina Mladenovic 2-6, 7-6(1), 7-5 to earn a quarterfinal appearance. The Slovak awaits the winner of Lucie Safarova and Irina-Camelia Begu

Tsurenko (UKR) def. Strycova (CZE) 6-3, 6-0

Lesia Tsurenko, a lucky loser, bounced Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-0 to become the first 2015 Connecticut Open quarter finalist. The Ukrainian joined the main draw following Simona Halep’s withdrawal, earning a bye into the second round. Tsurenko looked impressive in the opening match, making the most of her good fortune. She faces the winner of Olga Savchuk and fifth-seeded Karolina Pliskova.

Garcia (FRA) def. Rybarikova (SVK) 7-6(5), 6-4

Caroline Garcia defeated 2014 Connecticut Open finalist 7-6(5), 6-4 on Tuesday afternoon, becoming the third woman to reach the quarterfinals. Garcia will face the winner of four-time champion Caroline Wozniacki and qualifier Roberta Vinci.

In doubles action, Hao-Ching Chan and Casey Dellacqua defeated Vania King and Olga Savchuk (6-1, 7-5), Julia Goerges and Lucie Hradecka bounced Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Raluca Olaru (6-2, 7-5), and Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Johanna Larsson toppled Oksana Kalashnikova and Alicja Rosolska (7-5, 7-5).

5 Minutes With… Redfoo

NEW HAVEN, CT: Red Foo of LMFAO demonstrates a swing during the 2015 Connecticut Open at the Yale University Tennis Center on Friday, August 21, 2015 in New Haven, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Connecticut Open)

Photo by Jared Wickerham/Connecticut Open

Musician Redfoo has been in New Haven this week, and the Party Rocker is certainly taking it all-in. Redfoo was a special guest at Tuesday’s Emirates Clinic, where he interacted with young tennis fans, hit a few balls and posed for pictures. When he’s not hanging around the Connecticut Open facilities or coaching US Open National Playoffs participant Ayaka Okuno, New Haven residents can find Redfoo dining at local restaurants and touring the city. We caught up Tuesday to ask what about his love for tennis, his New Haven hotspots and more!

Connecticut Open: You grew up around tennis. Could you talk about the importance of kids getting involved in the game at an early age?

Redfoo: I think it’s important for kids to get involved in all sports from an early age but especially tennis, because it’s such a mental sport. It teaches you how to fight, teaches you great principals of life. It teaches you to never give up when you’re down and go for it under pressure. It’s a fun game. It’s like boxing, but it’s safer. It’s a team sport as well, because you can play doubles. It’s just an amazing game.

CO: Did you have any favorite tennis memories growing up?

Redfoo: Yes! Coming back from Love-5 against my dad and winning 7-5, which was amazing! I beat my high school rival 6-0 in the third, which was great. I had never really beaten him playing just as friends, but I was able to beat him in the tournament. Also, going to Sweden to play on clay in the summertime is amazing.

CO: Do you have a special music playlist you listen to while warming up?

Redfoo: As musical as I am, I never do the music headphone warm-up thing. I gotta try that. I sometimes practice with music, but I like to be in my own head. I like the thought process, and I don’t like to really be distracted by music. I have to try that, though [Laughter].

CO: How are you enjoying the city of New Haven? Have you visited any restaurants?

Redfoo: I went to this restaurant called Barcelona – great place! I want to go to Louie’s Lunch, the birthplace of the hamburger, but its closed until Sept. 7. I probably plan to take my solo wheel, which is my one-wheel motorized vehicle, with my friend and check out some places. I definitely need to get some New Haven pizza! I’ve heard of Pepe’s and Sally’s, and I hear the mashed potato pizza at Bar is awesome is well.

Thanks a lot, Redfoo!

CT Open Stars Take the Whisper Challenge

Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova are pretty great tennis players, but how are they at reading lips? We tested that skill in the 2015 Connecticut Open Whisper Challenge. Watch to see how they did.