The New Haven Open brings together a small but powerful field and the last chance for some players to get momentum and seeding ahead of Flushing Meadows. The best part for the players here is that they can perform the final adjustments to their game only 80 miles from the George Washington Bridge. If you’ve never seen the Stadium at Yale, you’ve never seen Battlestar Galactica. The seating capacity equals that of Centre Court at Wimbledon and ties it as the fourth largest tennis stadium “IN THE WORLD!” The media center and the players lounge are nestled deep within the sterile, “Logan’s Run” landscape of the behemoth Stadium.
First Round Matches of Note
Marion Bartoli vs. Laura Robson
Bartoli has had an up and down summer, but will Laura Robson see a precious medal impact? Like Andrea Hlavackova, who also won Olympic Silver, there was a confidence bump in her singles game. There could be an upset brewing for the Brit.
Sloane Stephens vs. Tamira Paszek
Easily the most unpredictable match of the tournament, both are poised to strike at the US Open. Paszek’s poise and experience may make the difference here, but Stephens will continue to own american crowds.
Lucie Safarova vs. Varvara Lepchenko
This is another that match could give us a sense of the culmination of the summer effort of both of these players, who are seemingly poised for respectable runs in NYC. Safarova should pull through this one with some difficulty.
Nothing to see here. While Peer/Kirilenko and Andrea Petkovic’s comeback beginning against a qualifier are interesting matches, there are no great first rounders in this half. Radwanska has a bye and only needs to beat a qualifier to enter the quarterfinals. After that, she would see either Shahar Peer, Maria Kirilienko, Daniela Hantuchova or Mona Barthel.
Wozniacki starts her fourth consecutive New Haven title defense against Ekaterina Makarova. She could be looking at Petkovic or Cibulkova in the quarters.
This is the action side of the draw. All three first round matches highlighted above are in this group. Petra Kvitova, fresh off of her Cincinnati drubbing at the hands of Anglelique Kerber, has earned a bye here in New Haven. Like Aga, all she needs to do is beat one qualifier to head to the quarters. Her possible opponents there are Zheng, Safarova, Lepchenko and Pironkova. Pironkova looked sluggish in practice yesterday, so I think it is down to Zheng to give Petra her biggest hurdle.
Dark Horse: Tamira Paszek
Anyone outside the top eight seeds can lay claim to the mantle of Dark Horse this close to a Grand Slam. Why not Tamira? She’s once again demonstrated her ability to win this summer. She has two tough matches ahead. If she can conquer Sloane Stephens today, she’ll see the winner of Bartoli and Robson on Tuesday.
Radwanska d. Kirilienko
Wozniacki d. Cibulkova
Kvitova d. Safarova
Paszek d. Errani
Wozniacki d. Radwanska
Paszek d. Kvitova
Wozniacki d. Paszek
Wozniacki has been fiercely hitting with Daniela Hantuchova over the weekend. As a defending four-time champion of this event, and with her champion boyfriend Rory McIlroy in town, she wants to show him how she gets it done in New Haven. Unlike the majors, this is Caro’s tournament to lose. The fans appreciate the longevity of her run here and have adopted her as a New Havenian.