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Connecticut Open Tennis Tournament Kicks Off Friday

Two dozen of the world’s top female tennis players are going head-to-head this weekend at the Connecticut Open tennis tournament in New Haven.

The nine-day event, which falls just prior to the U.S. Open in New York, kicked off today and will run through Saturday, Aug. 23. The tournament is presented by United Technologies.

Tennis pros such as former world champion Caroline Wozniacki, defending titleholder Simona Halep and Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova will compete for a $710,000 purse at Yale’s Connecticut Tennis Center.

Play gets underway with the qualifying draws today and tomorrow, then continues through the week and closes with the quarterfinals on Thursday, semifinals on Friday and doubles and singles finals next Saturday.

Men’s legends James Blake, Andy Roddick and Jim Courier will take the court Wednesday and Thursday following the women’s action.

The tournament also includes special events and activities, such as Monday’s Military Appreciation Night to honor veterans and active service members; Aetna Kids Day on Sunday, which offers tennis clinics, giveaways and autograph sessions with the players; and a “Destination a Day” giveaway, in which fans can win trips to such prestigious tennis spots as Wimbledon and The Old Course at St. Andrews.

Grilled cheese, crepes, Venezuelan cuisine, baked potatoes, seafood, ice cream, burgers, hot dogs, pizza and salads are among the offerings at food trucks and carts around the venue. A new beer garden called the Baseline Tap House will also provide Connecticut brews like Stoney Creek IPA and Amber Ale and Thomas Hooker Blonde.

Fans can use the smartphone app “GoPago” to order food from anywhere at the venue and pick it up from an express line at the stadium concession stand.

According to tournament officials, the Connecticut Open is expected to bring New Haven tens of millions of dollars in revenue and an economic boost for vendors and local businesses. One construction company said it has the tournament to thank for more than half its yearly business.

"The culture is just one of shared ownership, and that makes everybody want to take it to the next level," said tournament spokesperson Anne Worcester.

More information on the tournament is available online or by calling the box office at 855-464-8366.