The tennis world took a break from competition at the Olympics, to make a stop right here in New Haven Connecticut. The Connecticut Tennis center at Yale is the site of the second New Haven Open (previously the Pilot Pen). This is also the second year that the tournament is a Women's only event. According to the New Haven Register's Chip Malafronte and tournament officials, the New Haven Open remains one of the top drawing events in THE WORLD. And you thought we just had Cherry Blossoms and Pizza! This year nearly 53,000 came out to see the weeklong event.
If you have not come to New Haven for the New Haven Open, put it on your radar for next summer. If you like tennis but have never seen a live match, you will love the action. Even if you like sports but don't follow tennis, you will be amazed at these athletic women professionals. Even, if you don't like sports, you will enjoy the sights and sounds of the Connecticut Tennis center and all the interesting events like the New Haven Wine and food festival's Grand Tasting. Hosted by New Haven's (county, he lives in a nearby suburb) own Jacques Pepin!
Jacques Pepin and Cheryl Szczarba remeniscing about Julia Child and the 100th anniversary of her birth in August.
There was food from over 16 local restaurants like nationally known and Wooster Square native and neighbor Jason Sobocinski owner of Caseus Restaurant and Cheese Shop and star of his show on the Cooking Channel, The Big Cheese. But even if you just like people and eating and having fun, it is a great night out with friends. If you don't like fun? Then you probably don't read this blog!
Cheryl's family has had a box in the Tennis Center since the old Volvo Tennis Tournament came to New Haven in the 1990's and Cheryl and I are now the caretakers of great spot in which to watch (and photograph!!) World Class Tennis. We Szczarba's are HUGE supporters of anything and everything New Haven!
Back to tennis. We saw world number one ranked doubles team with Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond win a great doubles final. And Cheryl and I adopted Petra Kvitova as our new favorite as 4 time New Haven Open Champ Caroline Wozniacki (with pro golfer boyfriend & two time major champion Rory Mcilroy in New Haven also) pulled out with a knee injury.
See Rory hitting tennis balls with his driver in the Yale Bowl on YouTube:
Kvitova rallied in the second set of the final to beat Maria Kirilenko even though she brought her tough looking NHL boyfriend, Alex Ovechkin, a two time NHL Most Valuable Player. The Russian Hockey Star gladly signed autographs and posed for pictures during changeovers.
Tournament Director Anne Worcester telling NHL Superstar and 2 time MVP, Alex Ovechkin, that no one ever came to a Women's Tennis event and a Hockey game broke out......
Thanks Alex Ovechkin & Rory Mcilroy for coming to our city for the New Haven Open!
And you cannot think of the New Haven Open, with talking about Anne Wooster! When I occasionally bump into Anne on the Elevator going to New Haven Fitness, I tell her we love the tennis and the job she is doing for New Haven! This year is Anne's 15th year running the event and I read that all indications are that tennis will be in New Haven through 2020! Anne's ability to get the top players, treat them with all the VIP treatment they can get, bring them to all the food restaurants and shops, keeps them and us the fans coming back every year!
Thanks Anne Worcester for a great 2012 New Haven Open!!
Did I mention I took pictures? Check out the action!
Last years Darling Melanie Oudin is having a smashing time at
the New Haven Open
Marion Bartoli puts Xtra effort in but falls short...
Bethanie Mattek Sands has a colorful serve!
(are those Cherry Blossoms?)
This years America's Sweetheart on the courts,
Sloane Stephens shows powerful elegance...
There is a lot of crouching in doubles..
..lots of hand slaps too.
Some fans had a hawk eye view
Andrea Petkovic hardly had a chance to jig..
Lucie Safarova taking a leap of faith
Competitive fishing near the CT Tennis Center
Sofia Arvisdsson has her eye on the ball
Dominika Cibulkova's whips her serve!
Victory number 5 would have been so sweet, Caroline!
But your run came to an end....
Good Luck in the US OPEN Caroline!
Thanks for the memories...
Fellow Michigander, Megan Lee-Waters provided excitement in the doubles! (Our Aunt Rosemarie Riley of Livonia Michigan was a vocal supporter of Megan!)
As did Doubles legend Lisa Raymond
Maria Kirilenko shows form that got her to the finals.
Taste of victory for Peta Kvitova
2012 New Haven Open Winner
Queen Anne and her Court
2012 New Haven Open Champion
Congratulations and Good Luck at the US Open to all who came to New Haven!!
Bart and Cheryl Szczarba
Bart and Cheryl Szczarba