Connecticut Open New Haven 2017 Main Draw Preview

The draw for the Connecticut Open in New Haven is out, and it’s dope with many players trying to get their last minute preparations for the US Open. 

First quarter: Headlined by [1] Agnieszka Radwanska

[1] Agnieszka Radwanska
Lauren Davis vs Eugenie Bouchard
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni vs Anett Kontaveit
Katerina Siniakova vs [8] Peng Shuai

It could be the last time in a while we see Agnieszka Radwanska’s name on top of a draw. It’s almost confirmed that Radwanska will exit the Top 10 after the US Open because she is defending fourth round points and it seems very unlikely that the Pole will make a deep run at her worst Slam. After an encouraging run to the round of 16 at Wimbledon, the World No.10 has went back into her shell and made early exits in Toronto and Cincinnati. Radwanska will try to find back the form she had been having last year but it’s going to be a tough draw for her. The defending champion starts off with a bye, before facing Lauren Davis or Eugenie Bouchard, the former having beaten Radwanska in Eastbourne this year. However both Davis and Bouchard are on losing streaks – Davis is 0-5 since the win over Radwanska and Bouchard is 1-6 since Roland Garros.

Potential quarterfinal opponents for Radwanska would be either Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Anett Kontaveit, Katerina Siniakova and Peng Shuai. Lucic-Baroni has slayed Radwanska twice this year already but is on a six-match losing streak. Both Siniakova and Peng have won titles since Wimbledon and are in good form now.

Second quarter: Headlined by [4] Kristina Mladenovic

[4] Kristina Mladenovic vs Timea Babos
Daria Gavrilova vs Qualifier
Lesia Tsurenko vs Qualifier
[WC] Sloane Stephens vs [5] Elena Vesnina

This is arguably the weakest draw of the lot as the headline act in this quarter, Kristina Mladenovic, is another player on a losing spell right now. Mladenovic has lost her last four matches and has not won back-to-back matches in a tournament since Birmingham in June. Her first round match will be against former doubles partner Timea Babos who has lost her last 11 of 12 matches and has not claimed a Top 100 win since Indian Wells. Another friend could be looming in the second round for Mladenovic in Daria Gavrilova, who plays a qualifier in the first round.

Welcome back to the Top 100, Sloane Stephens! Just ranked No.900+ a couple of weeks ago, the American has made back-to-back Premier 5 semifinals in Toronto and Cincinnati. It won’t come as a surprise if she withdraws from New Haven after playing so much tennis but if she does, she will play Elena Vesnina who has not won back-to-back matches since Roland Garros. The winner of this match plays Lesia Tsurenko or a qualifier.

Third quarter: Headlined by [3] Petra Kvitova

[7] Barbora Strycova vs Daria Kasatkina
Kiki Bertens vs Qualifier
Qualifier vs Roberta Vinci
Zhang Shuai vs [3] Petra Kvitova

Since 2008, only four players have claimed the Connecticut Open trophy – Caroline Wozniacki, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Radwanska. Wozniacki and Halep has opted to miss the tournament but Kvitova, the three-time champion is back to try to claim her fourth trophy. She has a relatively tough opener in Zhang Shuai – who is trying to claim the gold medal for the Chinese National Games as of writing. It will be a long long route to US so I wonder if she’ll be playing in New Haven. The winner of that match will play Roberta Vinci or a qualifier – Robi has been struggling this year and I really hope to see her come back as she has a great game.

The other seed in this section, Barbora Strycova has an interesting encounter with Daria Kasatkina – the latter won’t want to remember what happened in their last encounter though as she slipped and twisted her ankle in Rome. On the other hand, Kiki Bertens will kick off her New Haven campaign against a qualifier. You should really check out the New Haven qualifying draw as it’s almost like an International tournament.

Fourth quarter: Headlined by [2] Dominika Cibulkova

[6] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Qualifier
Carla Suarez Navarro vs Qualifier
Yulia Putintseva vs Alize Cornet
[2] Dominika Cibulkova

Only the top two seeds get a bye to the next round and Dominika Cibulkova is a recipient of that. Cibulkova is already out of the Top 10 and is in a dangerous position to drop even further down the rankings as she has to defend Wuhan final points and Singapore winner points (if she can even make it there) in the next few months. She will need to find some form before that but she has a difficult opponent in Yulia Putintseva or Alize Cornet. Yes, Yulia Putintseva vs Alize Cornet in round 1, love love love!!!!!!!! Please let it be an epic three-setter…………….

On the other hand, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova could start off her campaign in New Haven with two qualifiers, though Carla Suarez Navarro will try to make that not happen. Pavlyuchenkova has endured a tough start to the US hard court swing, losing early in Stanford, Toronto and Cincinnati, and will try to reverse the situation in New Haven.

Thoughts on the draw: The top half of the draw is very difficult to predict as most of the players there are in bad form. The only players in fine form are Katerina Siniakova, Anett Kontaveit and Peng Shuai and I’ll guess that either of the last two names will make it to the final. I hope Radwanska will find some form but if she manages to get past the second round I will celebrate haha

For the bottom half, it’s gonna be Kvitova. No matter what kind of form she is coming into this tournament, she manages to always play some peak inspired tennis in New Haven so she should be my champion for the week…

Please follow my Cincinnati predictions here and my Twitter account here 🙂 New Haven predictions will come out soon. Thank you for reading!

 

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