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News Article

Veterans are VIPs at the 2016 Connecticut Open Presented by United Technologies

Jackie Iacovazzi of UTC Government Relations greets guests and passes out American flags at the CT Open UTC Military Outpost.
Pratt & Whitney employees, also veterans, greet one another at the 2016 CT Open.
U.S. Army Vietnam veterans challenge one another’s fishing stories during the final matches on August 27.
Guests were suited up with a water bottle and American flag on their way into the UTC Military Outpost.
Army veterans taking part in the UTC Military Appreciation Day take a break to cool off and have lunch.
Monica Niculescu hits her stride during the first set of the CT Open Doubles Final.
Kateryna Bondarenko aims high for a fierce overhead shot.
Sania Mirza and Monica Niculescu dominate the CT Open Doubles Final on August 27.

United Technologies Corp. and its employee volunteers teamed up with the CT Open on August 27 to host UTC’s annual Military Appreciation Day. During the Open’s doubles and singles final matches, U.S. veterans and active service men and women were invited to watch from The Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale University’s Courtside Club, outfitted just for them as the UTC Military Outpost.

The CT Open took place August 19-27 and hosted players from North America, Europe, and Asia. While veterans and their families watched from the UTC Military Appreciation Outpost, Sania Mirza of India and Monica Niculescu of Russia beat Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine and Chia-Jung Chuang of Taipei for the Doubles title, while Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland won against Elina Svitolinka of Ukraine in the Singles Championship. The Open is the last World Tennis Association (WTA) event before the last Grand Slam of the year, the US Open.

The tournament leverages the excitement and popularity of women’s tennis in order to give back to the community. This year, the CT Open hosted several promotions throughout the week which raised money and goods. American WTA player Sloane Stephens partnered with Soles4Soles, a donation drive which collects shoes for those in need; ShopRite and the CT Open teamed up to oversee their joint venture, Caring Food Drive, benefitting the Connecticut Food Bank. Throughout the week, Yale New Haven Health put on their yearly Closer to Free Player Challenge to raise funds for breast cancer research at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven. Local celebrities, players, and fans pedaled away on spin bikes earning more with each mile logged. On Wednesday, August 24, Autism Awareness Day presented adaptive tennis and fitness clinics.

In addition to access to the UTC Military Outpost for the day, members of the U.S. military were asked to stand during the Singles Final to be recognized and applauded. A U.S. Army serviceman sang the national anthem, local ROTC students served in the Color Guard, and an Army Band played on The Connecticut Stage in between the final matches.

Tournament Director Anne Worcester gives credit to the CT Open’s loyal fans for the event’s success each year. “We have an incredibly generous fan base which is deeply rooted in the local community,” said Worcester. “Our fans are the ones who help make a difference and support the tournament and sponsor causes.”

United Technologies and its employee volunteers look forward to honoring members of the U.S. Military next year at The CT Open from August 18-26.