John McEnroe, James Blake returning to CT Open legends event

John McEnroe is coming back to Connecticut.

McEnroe was announced as the headliner in the Invesco Legends New Haven event that will be staged by the Connecticut Open in August. Fairfield’s James Blake is also returning for the over-30 event, joined by Tommy Haas and Todd Martin.

Last year, McEnroe withdrew from the New Haven legends event just a week before the matches. He played in New Haven the previous two years.

Blake has been the marquee figure at New Haven dating back to his presence at the men’s tournament, winning in 2005 and 2006. This will be his fourth consecutive year at the legends event.

Haas and Blake will be play on Thursday, Aug. 23 after the women’s quarterfinal night session. McEnroe and Martin will play after the women’s semifinal night match on Aug. 24, with the winners meeting in the final Friday night.

Blake won three of five matches against Haas on the ATP tour. Haas, the BNP Paribas Open tournament director, officially retired last month during a ceremony at Indian Wells. He was a silver medal winner at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and was ranked as high as No, 2 in the world.

Haas won 15 career singles titles and was a semifinalist at four Grand Slam events (Australian Open in 1999, 2002 and 2007, Wimbledon in 2009).

In 2005, Haas lost to Blake at the Pilot Pen.

“I have great memories of playing in the city of New Haven, and I look forward to coming back and participating in the Invesco Legends at the Connecticut Open,” said Haas in a statement. “Unfortunately, I remember a three-set loss to James on his home turf back in 2005 so I’ll certainly be hoping to reverse that result on Thursday night in front of the great fans at the Connecticut Tennis Center.”

Martin is the CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport. He was a finalist at the Australian Open in 1994 and the U.S. Open in 1999.

McEnroe, one of the great personalities in tennis history, won seven Grand Slam singles titles and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999. He entertained the crowd at the Connecticut Tennis Center during his previous two appearances, chattering throughout his matches.

“The Legends Event is always a fan favorite at the Connecticut Open and we are excited to bring some of the most entertaining players in the history of the game to New Haven each year,” tournament director Anne Worcester said. “We are so pleased to have John McEnroe back in 2018 and to get Todd Martin back competing for the first time since 2015. James Blake, our finalist last year, remains as popular as ever here and we can’t wait to see him take to the court against a friend and rival in Tommy Haas. The Invesco Legends lineup this year is a fantastic clash of two generations and we are intrigued to see who comes out on top.”

The tournament runs Aug. 17-25. For information on tickets, visit www.ctopen.org or call 1-855-464-8366

paul.doyle@hearstmediact.com

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