NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - More than 400 New Haven third graders got out of the classroom and took to the courts at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale for the Connecticut Open’s 15th annual Free Tennis Lesson, funded by a grant from WTA Charities.
Led by top-ranked junior Whitney Osuigwe, who will receive a qualifying wildcard to the tournament, the clinic aims to promote the sport and encourage New Haven youth into tennis lessons offered by the city’s Parks & Recreation throughout the spring, summer and fall.
“I was honored to be asked to attend the Net Generation Free Tennis Lesson today,” Osuigwe said. “Encouraging children to learn and grow through the sport of tennis and to see them being given the opportunities I was is really important to me.
“I loved seeing the smiles on their faces today and I hope many of them choose to keep playing. I want to thank the Connecticut Open for giving me this wildcard opportunity and I can’t wait to be back here this summer.”
The clinic marks 100 days until the start of the Connecticut Open, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017. The tournament’s list of past champions reads like a who’s-who of women’s tennis greats, and includes Stefanie Graf, Lindsay Davenport, Jennifer Capriati, Venus Williams, Justine Henin, Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova.
“Giving back to the community is at the heart of what we do and we were delighted that Whitney was able to take part in our 15th Free Tennis Lesson,” said Tournament Director Anne Worcester. “With our strong emphasis on community, we also like to support the future generations and Whitney is one of the most exciting talents this country has produced in recent years.
“A hundred days out from our 2018 event, we have lots of exciting news in the pipeline and are working to make this summer’s tournament one of the ‘can’t miss’ events on your summer calendar.”
WTA Charities is the WTA's global philanthropic organization dedicated to making a positive impact across the globe. Our mission is to be a social responsibility vehicle built on the WTA's values to empower and provide for a better future. We're dedicated to combining, strengthening and enhancing the community and charitable efforts of the WTA through its members (players, alumnae and tournaments), along with our partners.