The US Open Series gives tennis players the opportunity to get the kinks out before the final grand slam of the year the US Open in New York. The Connecticut Open was held in New Haven, CT and the fans were treated to great tennis, great food, a great atmosphere, and did I mention the food? The tournament is held in the back drop of Yale University. The CT Open also gives opportunities to learn the game for the youth, and appreciate the skill of some of the worlds best women’s tennis players.
Former greats Micheal Chang, and James Blake played in and exhibition match and gave stop by to promote the projects they are currently working on. During the press conference Chang was talking about is his new role in coaching, while Blake talked about his new book and altercation with New York City Police. Past Winners of the Connecticut Open include Venus Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Conchita Martinez, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles.
The final four of the Connecticut Open included Daria Gavrilova 21th WTA world rank vs. Agnieszka Radwanska WTA world rank 10th.
Radwanska was a crowd favorite her jack of all trades style brought fans to there feet Radwanska is also the defending champion. Radwanska is not a big hitter she uses speed, angles, and smarts to navigate through the field to the semifinals. Radwanska from Poland also brought fans from her home land with red and white face paint. The Poland fans were also waving their contries flag with pride after every Radwanska winner. Her opponent Daria Gavrilova is a youthful player representing Australia. Gavrilova plays with fire and emotion, she is shooting up the ranks of the WTA and is one of the most talented players in the world. Gavrilova can be her harshest critic “calling herself a grand slam choker”. In the semi final match Gavrilova didn’t choke she dominate the defending champion Radwanska winning 6-4, 6-4 on her way to the CT Open Final. She would play the winner of the Cibukova, Mertens match. Dominkia Cibulkova WTA #9 in the world is another really passionate player who works and plays hard and has a explosive forehand. Chibulkova all around power game makes her threat to win the US Open in New York. In the CT Open Elise Mertens a quailfier 21, from Belgium was no match for Cibukova in the Semi’s winning 6-1, 6-3 on her way to the final.
In the 2017 CT Open Final Cibukova would no doubt be the favorite. She's 9th in the world and has the experience the power to win the CT Open. With the reining champion Agnieszka Radwanska out of the tournament and a talented but youthful challenger with a lack of WTA winning experience in the final. It looked like clear sailing for Cibukova to grab another WTA title. The vet got off to a fast start winning the first set 6-4. Then during the second set Daria Gavrilova found her sea legs. Like a young fighter coming up through the ranks Gavrilova was showing signs of taking the steps to becoming a champion for the first time. Taking the second set 6-3. The final set was a beautiful exhibition of shot making and athleticism. The back and forth affair was ended on a blistering forehand winner by the 2017 Champion Daria Gavrilova. You walk away from the Connecticut open thinking that this victory isn’t a flash in the pan its the start of something special. Remembering the name Gavrilova might be a good idea she may be the next big thing in women’s tennis.