Connecticut Open tennis tournament to leave New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Connecticut Open tennis tournament is leaving New Haven after a 21-year run in the city, organizers said Friday.

The operators of the tournament have sold the sanction for the WTA event to APG, a sports and entertainment company that is planning to put on a tournament in September in Zhengzhou, China.

The financial model of the Connecticut Open was no longer viable, organizers said. The Tennis Foundation of Connecticut said it is exploring whether another professional tennis event can be drawn to the city.

"It has been an amazing 21-year run for women's professional tennis in New Haven, and we are truly grateful to all the fans, volunteers, players, media and sponsors involved," tournament director Anne Worcester said.

The tournament traditionally has taken place in August, the final WTA tuneup before the U.S. Open.

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said the tournament has helped to boost the city financially and bring it global attention since it began in 1998.

"We remain hopeful that professional tennis will return to New Haven in the very near future," Harp said.

The tournament's finances have been tenuous for several years and it nearly moved out of state before Connecticut bought the rights to the tournament in 2013 for $618,000. In 2017, the state completed a $2.5 million renovation of the facility where the tournament is held in hopes of getting more out of the venue than just the tennis event.

"It stayed in New Haven due to efforts by many people when there was almost certainty five years ago that it would leave for another state. Five additional years of economic impact, marketing of the state around the world, and year-round community outreach programs is something to be celebrated," said Mark Ojakian, who helped to save the tournament when he was former Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's chief of staff.

People also read these

Kyrgios' new approach: Keep calm and move on at...

Jan 16, 2017

For Nick Kyrgios, the talented yet combustible bad boy of tennis, it was a rather routine 6-1, 6-2,...

Angelique Kerber getting used to birthdays away...

Jan 18, 2017

Little did Angelique Kerber know when she turned 18 at home in Bremen, Germany, that the next...

Matthew Dellavedova, tennis player? Nope, it's...

Jan 22, 2017

Basketball fans may have done a double take upon seeing the Australian Open schedule on Sunday:...

Clijsters, Roddick joining International Tennis...

Jan 24, 2017

Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick have been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame

The Latest: Nadal beats Raonic, returns Grand...

Jan 25, 2017

Rafael Nadal has beaten Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6 (7), 6-4 to reach the Australian Open semifinals,...

Get your 24-hour live updates here in Ultimate Sports Daily. We deliver content from all regions so that you won’t miss out on any single event.

Contact us: sales[at]ultimatesportsdaily.com