If anyone withdraws Patty Schnyder is in.
Better late than never: Schnyder adds name to Pilot Pen list
Jim Fuller, Register Staff
Leave it to the mercurial Patty Schnyder to leave Pilot Pen Tennis tournament director Anne Worcester guessing.
When Worcester returned from her annual recruiting trip at Wimbledon, the 27 year old from Baech, Switzerland, gave every indication that she would be entering the New Haven women’s professional tour stop. So imagine Worcester’s surprise when the name of the world’s eighth-ranked player failed to appear on the direct acceptance list released last year.
Then, just as Worcester was left to ponder why Schnyder was not planning a trip to the Elm City after four Pilot Pen appearances in the previous eight years, Worcester received the e-mail from the WTA informing her that Schnyder would be entering the field.
"She was one player I was hoping would have entered by the entry deadline (July 10)," Worcester said. "She said all the right things at Wimbledon. This will be her fifth trip here so obviously she has had good experiences and I’m glad she’s returning."
Since Schnyder, a Pilot Pen quarterfinalist in 2000 and 2002, missed the entry deadline she will be placed at the top of the "next-in" list. If one of the 21 players currently entered in the main draw withdraws, Schnyder would automatically move into the main draw. In the unlikely case where there are no withdrawals, Schnyder would be an obvious choice to receive one of the tournament’s three main draw wild cards.
Schnyder, who recently won her 400th career WTA singles match, has developed a reputation as one of the mainstays on the tour as she has finished in the top 25 in the WTA year-end rankings seven times in the last eight years, including a career-best rating of No. 7 in 2005. The five-time Grand Slam singles quarterfinalist reached the 2004 Australian Open semifinals and has won 10 WTA tour events.
"She is not a household name, but she quietly gets to quarterfinals and semifinals every week," Worcester said.
Schnyder joins No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo, No. 6 Elena Dementieva and No. 10 Lindsay Davenport to give the Pilot Pen four top 10 players in its 2006 field.
Schnyder is currently playing in the Tier III tournament in Mason, Ohio, where former world No. 1 Serena Williams opened more than a few eyes with a 6-2, 6-2 win Tuesday over No. 11 Anastasia Myskina in Williams’ first match since January’s Australian Open.
Worcester is keeping in contact with representatives from the camps of Serena and her sister Venus Williams, a four-time Pilot Pen champion.
"(Serena’s agent) said let’s see how she does in Cincinnati and then let’s talk," Worcester said.