Tennis Hall of Fame inductees Michael Chang and John McEnroe will face Fairfield’s James Blake and defending champion Mark Philippoussis in a PowerShares Series event - the circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30 - at the 2017 Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, to be held August 18-26, at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale, it was announced today by Tournament Director Anne Worcester.
The Connecticut Open Men’s Legends Event, which began three years ago, is an official part of the PowerShares Series. McEnroe, Blake and Philippoussis returned to New Haven in 2016, while Chang will make his New Haven debut in the PowerShares Series. On Thursday, August 24, following the women’s quarterfinal, Chang will play Blake, and on Friday, August 25, following the WTA semifinal, McEnroe will take on Philippoussis, with the winners of each matchup competing in a final on Friday night. The men’s matches will be one set each.
The youngest ATP World Tour player to win a Grand Slam Singles Title, Chang returns to New Haven for the first time since 1995. Chang, who earned a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the world, won the 1989 French Open crown at 17 years old and won 34 singles titles on the ATP World Tour. Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2008, Chang is the current coach of World No. 5 Kei Nishikori.
“I have fond memories playing in the City of New Haven, and I look forward to coming back and participating in the PowerShares Series at the Connecticut Open,” said Chang. “The Connecticut Tennis Center is a great venue with tremendous fans, and it will be fun to compete against Fairfield native James Blake. Hopefully I can make the final and get a chance against McEnroe or Philippoussis and win the event.”
McEnroe, a seven-time Grand Slam singles and nine-time Grand Slam Doubles Champion, will be returning to New Haven for the third consecutive year. McEnroe boasts more than 150 singles and doubles championships in his career, and, in 1984, had one of the greatest seasons in the history of tennis when he won two majors (Wimbledon, US Open), 13 of 15 singles tournaments, and compiled an 82-3 record for the year, the best year-long winning percentage on the ATP World Tour. McEnroe was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999.
Blake is a two-time Connecticut Open Champion, earning 10 singles and seven doubles titles on the ATP World Tour. The Fairfield Connecticut native returns to play in the Legends event for the third consecutive year. Philippoussis, a former top 10 player with 11 singles and three doubles titles in his career, returns for a second straight year. The Australian defeated 2017 International Hall of Fame inductee Andy Roddick and Blake to win the PowerShares Series at New Haven last year.
“The Legends Event is a fan-favorite at the Connecticut Open, and we strive to welcome some of the greatest players in the history of the game to New Haven each year,” said Worcester. “The Hall of Famers continue to flock to New Haven, as Michael Chang joins John McEnroe this year following 2017 Hall of Fame inductee Andy Roddick’s appearance in last year’s event. James Blake obviously has a huge following in Connecticut and Mark Philippoussis, who won the event last year, can still play electric tennis. We’re extremely happy with this year’s PowerShares Series lineup and look forward to another great event in New Haven.”
Fans can guarantee the best to the Legends matches by purchasing a weeklong or multiple session package. 2017 Connecticut Open ticket options include:
After Hours (Aug. 21-26) – Every evening session, including all Legends matches, and Saturday afternoon (WTA Finals)
Final 4 (Aug. 24-26) – Thursday evening (Quarterfinal/Legends), Friday day and evening (WTA Semifinals/Legends), and Saturday (WTA Finals)
Pick 4 (Aug. 20-24) – Choice of four early round sessions including Thursday evening (WTA Quarterfinal/Legends)
For those looking to see all 14 sessions of incredible women’s tennis plus both Legends matches, weeklong box seats are available and provide significant savings and a host of benefits.
For more information about the 2017 Connecticut Open, including multi-session packages, weeklong box seats, sponsorship packages, hospitality and becoming a volunteer, visit www.ctopen.org or call 203-776-7331. Daily tickets for the tournament will be on sale starting March 20.