NEW HAVEN, Conn., August 16, 2017 – Former World No.1 and 2017 International Hall of Fame inductee Andy Roddick will replace seven-time Grand Slam singles champion John McEnroe in the line-up for the PowerShares Series Men’s Legends Event at the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, it was announced today by Tournament Director Anne Worcester.
"Unfortunately I am unable to appear in the PowerShares Series competition in New Haven next week due to personal reasons,” said McEnroe. “I am disappointed not to be able to take part in the 20th anniversary year of the Connecticut Open, but I look forward to being back playing in front of the great fans there soon."
Returning for the fourth consecutive year, Roddick will join Fairfield’s James Blake, French Open champion Michael Chang and defending champion Mark Philippoussis in the one set shoot-out that is an official part of the Powershares Series circuit.
On Thursday, August 24, following the women’s quarterfinal, Chang will play Blake, and on Friday, August 25, following the WTA semifinal, Roddick will take on Philippoussis, with the winners of each match-up competing in a final on Friday night.
“Andy will be a fantastic addition to our fan-favorite PowerShares Men’s Legends event and we look forward to welcoming him in his Hall of Fame year,” said Worcester. “He’s well known and adored by our fans after competing in the last three years and will provide a tough test for Mark, who was so impressive in winning the 2016 event. We were disappointed to lose John and hope to see him back in Connecticut soon.”
Meanwhile, two-time Grand Slam singles finalist and former World No.2 Vera Zvonareva will receive a wild card into the qualifying draw in her first WTA-level appearance since 2015. Talented Americans Kayla Day and Sofia Kenin also received wild cards with the final announcements coming tomorrow (Thursday).
Worcester also announced that the Connecticut Open will host the Australian wild card play-off for the US Open from Friday through Sunday. It will be a knockout tournament format, with the winner securing the main draw wildcard as part of a reciprocal deal between Tennis Australia and the United States Tennis Association.
World No.131 Arina Rodionova heads the eight-player Australian field and will be joined by young talent including Destanee Aiava, Lizette Cabrera and Jaimee Fourlis. Rounding out the draw is last year’s US Open wildcard play-off winner Ellen Perez along with Olivia Rogowska, Kimberly Birrell and Priscilla Hon.
IMG Academy founder Nick Bollettieri, the ITF Hall of Fame coach who counts Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Jim Courier and Maria Sharapova among his pupils, will also be at the Connecticut Open for Shoprite Kids Day on Sunday, August 20. Bollettieri will sign autographs and speak at the Net Generation event as part of the IMG Academy’s sponsorship of the tournament.
IMG Academy coaches will spend the week instructing players of all ages on the exclusive IMG Academy practice court adjacent to their booth at the Connecticut Tennis Center, highlighted by a “forehand challenge” with Bollettieri at 3.30pm on Friday August 25.