NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - American Sloane Stephens' comeback tour will make a stop in New Haven this summer, as tournament director Anne Worcester announced a wildcard for the 24-year-old on Tuesday.
"We're delighted to announce officially that Sloane Stephens has entered the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies," Worcester said in a video posted to Twitter. "We love having our young Americans play - that's who our fans want to see, and we love the fact that Sloane is a global ambassador for the Soles4Souls program, which recycles shoes in a sustainable way and redistributes them to those in need both in the United States and around the world."
Stephens was in New Haven for a kids' clinic on Tuesday, and also shared her excitement about returning to the event for a fourth time.
“I’m so excited to receive a wild card for this year’s Connecticut Open,” Stephens said. “I was disappointed when I had to withdraw at the last minute last year because of my knee injury. I have been working really hard on my rehab so it’s nice to have something to work towards and I am looking forward to being back competing this summer.”
Last year, the tournament collected 550 pounds of shoes for the organization, which Stephens has partnered with at several tournaments already in her career, including at the Volvo Car Open and the Citi Open.
Worcester added that her event in 2017 will be again participating in Stephens' efforts: "This morning, she told me she expects us to beat [the 2016] record, so we accepted the challenge!"
Stephens' best result in New Haven came in 2013 as she reached the quarterfinals before falling to Caroline Wozniacki.
The American has been sidelined since the 2016 Rio Olympics following foot surgery, but expects to return to the WTA this summer.