NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - World No.1 and reigning Roland Garros champion Simona Halep has been awarded a wild card into the 2018 Connecticut Open, the tournament announced today. The tournament’s player field now features four of the Top 10 players in the world.

Halep, who lifted the 2013 Connecticut Open title, returns to New Haven for the fourth time in her career and for the first time since 2014. Ranked No.23 in the world at the time, she defeated four-time champion Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals and defending champion Petra Kvitova in the 2013 final.

Read more: Kvitova, Georges and Garcia round out New Haven entry list

“I am excited to return to Connecticut this summer and am grateful for the opportunity,” Halep said. “I have some happy memories from my title in 2013 and always enjoy playing in front of the fans there.

“The tournament’s strong field and similar conditions to New York make it a great way to prepare for the US Open so I’m looking forward to being back.”

Simona Halep claimed the Connecticut Open title in 2013. (Getty Images)

A WTA Premier event that is part of the US Open Series, the 21st edition of the tournament will be held August 17-25 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale.

“Five years ago, Simona won our tournament as an unseeded rising star on the WTA Tour,” said Tournament Director Anne Worcester. “Simona returns this year as the No.1 player in the world and the current French Open champion, which just goes to show that the Connecticut Open showcases not only young, up-and-coming players, but also the best in women’s tennis.”

Halep sits in first place on the Porsche Race to Singapore, with other notable names on the New Haven entry list lying in fourth (Kvitova), seventh (Daria Kasatkina) and 11th (Julia Goerges).

The Connecticut Open’s 30-player singles draw currently features 22 players – 20 direct acceptance and two wild cards (American Danielle Collins is the other wild card recipient) – with the direct entry ranking cut-off at No. 35. The tournament still has two wild cards at its disposal with six players advancing from the 48-player qualifying draw completing the field. The top two seeds at the tournament will receive a first-round bye.

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