WIMBLEDON FINALIST AND WORLD NO. 2 AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA LEADS FOUR OF TOP TEN, EIGHTEEN 2012 OLYMPIANS IN NEW HAVEN OPEN PLAYER FIELD
All Middle-Tier Tickets on Sale for $15 for 15 days; Smilow Cancer Hospital Breast Center at Yale-New Haven to Receive $2 of Every Ticket Sold ; First Niagara to Provide Matching Donation
NEW HAVEN, Conn., July 11, 2012 – Wimbledon finalist and world No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska leads four of the WTA top ten and 18 2012 Olympians in the player field for the 2012 New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara, a WTA event that is part of the Emirates Airline US Open Series to be held August 17-25, 2012 at the Connecticut Tennis Center, it was announced today by Tournament Director Anne Worcester.
Radwanska, world No. 8 and four-time defending champion Caroline Wozniacki, world No. 9 and French Open finalist Sara Errani and world No. 10 Marion Bartoli headline the 2012 field as the four players ranked in the WTA Top 10. Joining them are top-25 players Maria Kirilenko, Dominika Cibulkova, Kaia Kanepi, Flavia Pennetta, Andrea Petkovic, Nadia Petrova, Francesca Schiavone, Lucie Safarova and Zheng Jie as well as two-time Grand Slam Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Rising star Christina McHale will also be competing to be the first American since Lindsay Davenport in 2005 to lift the New Haven Open trophy. Rounding out the field are former world No. 5 and fan favorite Daniela Hantuchova, defending New Haven Open finalist Petra Cetkovska, 2012 Wimbledon quarterfinalist Tamira Paszek, Anabel Medina Garrigues, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Ekaterina Makarova and Mona Barthel.
All but two of the competitors of the 2012 New Haven Open have won a WTA title in their careers and boast an impressive 121 between them, an average of more than five per player. Leading the way is four-time defending New Haven Open champion Wozniacki, with 18 titles to her name, followed by Kuznetsova with 13 and Petrova and Medina Garrigues with 11 apiece.
"This year’s player field is one of the strongest we’ve had, and we still have four Wild Cards to be named," said Worcester. "To have 18 Olympians playing in the New Haven Open at Yale is a testament to our internationally competitive field. Fans are in for a real treat from the get-go, with exciting matches between some of the world’s best players in store from the first round on."
To view the full player field click here
To celebrate 15 years of women’s tennis in New Haven, and for 15 days only, all middle-tier tickets will be on sale for $15 (which is up to a 66 percent discount for fans). Additionally, $2 of each ticket sold will be donated directly to Smilow Cancer Hospital Breast Center at Yale New Haven. First Niagara will also make a matching donation of $1 per ticket sold (up to $5,000) to Smilow Cancer Hospital Breast Center. This "15-Love" promotion will run for a limited time, July 11-26.
"First Niagara is pleased to be able to support the New Haven Open’s important ‘15-Love’ cause-related ticket promotion by offering a matching donation of up to $5,000," said David Ring, President, New England Region and Head of Enterprise Banking at First Niagara Bank. "This donation is a testament to First Niagara’s strong commitment to this community and will hopefully further encourage fans to buy tickets now and support a great cause in Smilow Cancer Hospital Breast Center at Yale-New Haven."
"The fight against breast cancer is something the New Haven Open puts among its top priorities," said Worcester. "The ‘15-Love’ ticket promotion celebrates 15 years of women’s tennis in New Haven by offering a spectacular price to watch some of the world’s best tennis while contributing funds to Smilow Breast Center for cutting edge research as well as ensuring services for under-served women in our community."
U.S. Olympian Varvara Lepchenko was on hand with Worcester and other Connecticut dignitaries including State Senator Toni Harp and State Representative Toni Walker in front of First Niagara Bank on Wednesday to help announce this new campaign. The native of Uzbekistan, who became a U.S. citizen in September of 2011 before reaching the fourth round of the 2012 French Open and qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Team, jogged on the famed CYBEX Pink Treadmill.
The CYBEX Pink Ribbon Run sponsored by Healthtrax returns to the New Haven Open this year and offers players, fans, sponsors and media the opportunity to walk or run on a special pink treadmill to raise funds for breast cancer. For every mile logged, donations will be made to Smilow Cancer Hospital Breast Center at Yale-New Haven. In addition, the pink treadmill, which will be signed by the WTA players and celebrities, will be auctioned off after the New Haven Open and all proceeds will be donated to the Breast Center at Smilow.
Log on to www.newhavenopen.com or call 1-855-464-8366 for more information and to purchase tickets. Also, make sure to join New Haven Open on Facebook & Twitter for tournament updates, contests and more.
About New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara
New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara has always been much more than a tennis tournament; it is a leading example of leveraging a large-scale international sporting event to generate $26 million in regional economic impact and to build community pride, spirit and engagement, especially among youth. The 2011 tournament featured World No. 1 and now four-time defending champion Caroline Wozniacki, and three Grand Slam champions Li Na, Francesca Schiavone and Svetlana Kuznetsova. The women’s-only WTA event is part of the Emirates Airline US Open Series and will be held August 17-25, 2012 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale. The New Haven Open is prominently featured domestically on ESPN2 and also broadcast around the world. For more information about the tournament and tickets, visit www.newhavenopen.com or call 1-855-464-8366.
About First Niagara
First Niagara, through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., is a multi-state community-oriented bank with nearly 430 branches, approximately $35 billion in assets, $28 billion in deposits, and approximately 6,000 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses across Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.firstniagara.com.
About Emirates Airline US Open Series
Now in its ninth season, the Emirates Airline US Open Series continues to serve as a true regular season of hard court tennis, linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. Fans follow the action throughout the summer during national broadcast coverage while players battle for $40 million, including a chance for bonus prize money at the US Open. The Series collectively reached a U.S. television audience of 39 million and drew more than 800,000 on-site fans in 2011.
In 2012, Emirates Airline became the title sponsor of the Series, as well as the official airline of the US Open. The Emirates Airline US Open Series is also supported by sponsors American Express, Chase, Citizen Watch Company, Esurance, evian and Gatorade.
Americans Mardy Fish and Serena Williams swept the 2011 Emirates Airline US Open Series men’s and women’s titles. In 2007, Roger Federer collected the biggest paycheck in tennis history – $2.4 million – for winning the US Open and the Emirates Airline US Open Series. In 2005, Kim Clijsters also captured both the US Open and the Series, winning $2.2 million – the largest purse in women’s sports history – and equaled that amount in 2010, winning the US Open and finishing the Emirates Airline US Open Series in second place.