NEW YORK, NY, USA - A trio of rising American players are set to hit the courts at the NYJTL Bronx Open, with CoCo Vandeweghe, Kristie Ahn and Bernarda Pera receiving wildcards into the WTA International-level event, the tournament announced on Thursday.
Vandeweghe, a two-time Grand Slam semifinalist with two WTA titles under her belt, is playing in her first few tournaments back in action after an ankle injury left her sidelined since the end of last season.
Meanwhile, Ahn is seeking to continue the momentum from a breakthrough week in San Jose, where she reached her second career WTA quarterfinal, and Pera rounds out the wildcards after reaching her third WTA semifinal of the year in Jurmala.
Petra Kvitova also was previously announced as a wildcard, but withdrew from the tournament on Friday.
They join a solid field in the Bronx featuring a host of WTA stars seeking last-minute match play before the year's final Grand Slam, including top seed Wang Qiang, Barbora Strycova, Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Katerina Siniakova, Ajla Tomljanovic, Zheng Saisai, and more.
Hosted by New York Junior Tennis & Learning, NYJTL Bronx Open, is a WTA International level women’s professional tournament offering $250,000 in prize money at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in the Bronx from August 16-24, 2019.
The NYJTL Bronx Open will be the only WTA tournament during the week prior to the US Open and will feature a 48-singles qualifying and 30-player main draw plus a 16-team doubles draw.
WTA CEO and Chairman Steve Simon said: “We look forward to bringing the WTA Tour to the Bronx this season, providing our world class athletes the opportunity to compete at the new state of the art Cary Leeds Center.”
“The Bronx looks forward to the return of women’s professional tennis to our community,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “This tournament will inspire the next generation of future sports stars to pick up a racket and get out to play in the new Cary Leeds Center in Crotona Park. We are grateful to NYJTL for everything you do as a partner in the community, and we thank the WTA for bringing the world’s best players to the Bronx.”
“NYJTL previously promoted one WTA Challenger and more than 15 USTA Pro Circuit professional tennis tournaments in Crotona Park from 1993-2012,” explained NYJTL Tournament Director Joe Ceriello.
“While temporary facilities were constructed each year in the past, this year the $26.5-million Cary Leeds Center will provide a world-class facility with two stadium courts and access to a total of 20 additional courts,” he continued. “The Cary Leeds Center also includes a two-story, 12,000-square-foot clubhouse with classrooms, and the Victor Kiam Stadium and the Pershing Square Stadium create an up-close and intimate tennis viewing experience.”
“Introducing new people to the sport of tennis and opening up our doors to the community is our life’s work,” said Liezel Huber, seven-time Grand Slam Champion and Executive Director of Tennis at the Cary Leeds Center.