NEW HAVEN, Conn.—For all the history made by Monica Puig, tears wept by Novak Djokovic and forehands fired by Juan Martin del Potro, Olympic tennis is firmly in the rearview mirror, if not completely out of sight. But one American is still feeling the reverberations from Rio. Yes, Ryan Lochte is an acceptable answer. But sticking to tennis, it’s Anne Worcester, tournament director of the Connecticut Open.
“Early on, the Olympics helped us because everybody knew they wanted to play New Haven,” Worcester says on a sun-splashed afternoon on the idyllic Yale University campus. “When our initial entry list came out, we had 20 of the Top 30 players in the world.”
That impressive depth included Karolina Pliskova, Dominika Cibulkova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Johanna Konta and Madison Keys, whose face is seen on advertisements around downtown New Haven which tout the tournament and local merchants. All five notable names pulled out of the Connecticut Open due to the mileage they accrued over the summer, most not long before the event began.
“And then players who made it back from Rio and went to play Cincinnati tired out,” says Worcester. “The Olympics is always two more weeks of wear and tear on these players’ bodies. And it has always wreaked havoc on the summer season.”