One has to give it to Elena D. for winning @ AI. She looked super badd during that week. If I had to choose a world cup team for the clay courts - she'd have made the roster this clay court season. Kudos to her.
As for my girl Venus - I hope she defends @ Pilot Pen - but I'd appreciate anything she decides to do.
Williams may not return to Pilot Pen
May 06, 2003
By SEAN O’ROURKE
Special to The Register Citizen
NEW HAVEN -- Another rising star has committed to play in this summer’s Pilot Pen, but there are indications the biggest namemay not return to New Haven this summer.
Pilot Pen Tournament Director Anne Worcester announced Monday that Elena Dementieva, ranked No. 13 in the world, has joined No. 9 Daniela Hantuchova, No. 10 Anastasia Myskina and No. 27 Alexandra Stevenson in the field. The tournament will be held Aug. 15-23 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale.
Venus Williams, the winner of the last four Pilot Pens, has stated her desire to change her summer schedule, and that means possibly excluding the Pilot Pen.
Dementieva, 21, won for the first time on the WTA Tour last month at Amelia Island, Fla. Dementieva, a native of Moscow,rallied to beat No. 5 Lindsay Davenport in a three-set championship match. Shedefeated No. 4 Justine Henin-Hardenne, Hantuchova and No. 18 Amanda Coetzer en route to the final match with Davenport.
"She was unbelievable at Amelia Island, especially in the match against Davenport," Worcester said. "I have never seen her play like that. She hit a couple of forehand cross-court winners that reminded me of Steffi Graf. She beat five great players to win that tournament. It was no fluke."
This will be Dementieva’s fourth consecutive Pilot Pen. She was the eighth seed last year but was upset in the first round by Angelika Roesch. In 2001, Dementieva lost to Jelena Dokic in the first round, and in her first appearance she beat Dokic in the first round before losing to Patty Schynder.
Worcester is working on announcing a big-name commitment in the near future. The most likely candidate seems to be Davenport, who has lost to Williams in the last two Pilot Pen final matches. Worcester also has had discussions with No. 6 Amelia Mauresmo, No. 7 Jennifer Capriati and No. 12 Monica Seles.
Mauresmo won at Warsaw, Poland, Sunday when Williams withdrew trailing 3-0 in the third set with a pulled abdominal muscle. It’s expected Mauresmo will commit to the Pilot Pen early.Capriati and Seles won’t let Worcester know of their intentions until after the July 7th commitment deadline, thus needing to request wild cards if they decided to play.
The news on the second-ranked Williams isn’t as optimistic, although Worcester hasn’t ruled out her returning.
Williams, who has won on 16 matches at the Connecticut Tennis Center, has committed to play the week prior to the Pilot Pen at the Canadian Open in Toronto. Williams’ sister, No. 1-ranked Serena, also is scheduled to play in Toronto.
Venus Williams has never played the Canadian Open and usually doesn’t play the same tournament as her sister unless it’s one of the four Grand Slam events.
The problem for Worcester and the Pilot Pen is that Venus lost to Serena in the U.S. Open last year and is looking to change her preparation for the season’s last Grand Slam this summer.
"Venus is accustomed to winning the Grand Slams," Worcester said, "so she wants to change the way she gets ready for the U.S. Open."
Venus Williams went on to win the 2000 and 2001 U.S. Opens after winning the Pilot Pen.
One possible positive note for the Pilot Pen is Williams’ current injury, an abdominal pull which may cause her to need matches later in the summer to keep up her world ranking.
Williams pulled out of the German Open in Berlin this week and the Italian Open in Rome next week because of the injury.
Worcester has talked with Serena Williams about playing New Haven, but so far she has been non-committal. She has won the last four Grand Slam events.